Macam pisang goreng panas - that's a typical saying in Malaysia denoting how popular certain things are; foods or non-food items. Pisang takkan berbuah dua kali is another saying involving the banana.
I think we are one society which can't live without our banana.
All the time, you would see people queueing for their daily dose of the banana fritters for their high tea, especially if they are piping hot. I, like many of us, dislike it when it is cold. In fact, even that would be an understatement. To me it has to be piping hot - directly out of the wok into my mouth! Nevermind if the tongue will get burn. Well, sort of.
I like them when they are ripe and a very soft after it was fried. I didn't like it any other way. Sort of pisang goreng lembek, if you must. Some do like them a bit unripe when it's fried.
There are just so many varieties - some like pisang abu, pisang berangan, and all kinds. I am not going into the different varieties, but while I was walking in Jakarta not so long ago, I came across something that caught my eyes.
Pisang goreng Kalimantan.
I mean some likes pisang abu goreng, or pisang nangka, and God knows what variety. I don't really care; I just eat them. But we don't have goreng pisang Perak, or goreng pisang Kelantan or Sarawak, so why should there be a goreng pisang Kalimantan?
And this is the banana fritters in contention - Pisang Goreng Kalimantan. YOu would be paying Rp3,000 to Rp4,000 per piece. You can see that it is a bit flat compared to the normal fritter and squarish in shape. The banana is sliced into two, but it is still intact in one piece, dipped in a batter and fried.
I have tried twice while in Jakarta. For the life of me, I can figure out what's so special about this Kalimantan fritters. It tastes like, well, pisang goreng to me. Supposedly it's sweeter, which my tongue could not differentiate, and crispier. While watching a world cup game recently, it did taste better.
Each fritter is quite big and I finished three during that game - mind you, that was immediately after my dinner, so I guess it must have tasted good then.
It must be a marketing geek trying to make money out of this national delight, I guess.
This stall selling pisang goreng Kalimantan in Tanjung Duren in Jakarta. It is ironic that there are many pisang goreng sellers in Tanjung Duren; I thought they would be selling durian goreng in Tanjung Duren!
Typically it would be dipped into a batter and then fried. There is only a thin layer on the surface of the banana, so it would crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.
Where have I heard that before? Hmm...
You would not believe that goreng pisang sellers in Jakarta would wear some kind of uniforms. I think they are way beyond us in this respect.
Nowadays though, I don't go for pisang goreng anymore.
It is piping hot masalode that I crave for, but that's another story.