Like most people who grew up in one country and lived in another as an adult, I have the constant pang of homesickness for the food of the country I grew up in. Actually it's not the food of the whole country that I miss, just the food from this one small town in Indonesia. If it's not the jajanan (english: snack) from the Javanese aunties who would go from house to house to hawk their products, it's the soto lamongan (english: yellow chicken soup) from this shabby shop with gloomy lighting, dirty floors and plastic chairs.
Second to flying back at the drop of a hat, all I've got to alleviate this gnawing craving are the occasional snacks that family and friends would bring from Indonesia. Only those that Customs deem safe enough to go into the country, of course.
Two weeks ago, my father brought with him two types of snack. One of them is called semprit and another is nastar. Semprit are these butter cookies shaped like teardrops. They come in different flavours, the ones I got given was cheese flavoured. They're crumbly and light. What I usually do is pop one whole piece into my mouth and wait for it to crumble into nothingness.
Like semprit, nastar also come in bite-sized pieces. Nastar are these 2-cm-dome-shaped pastry, filled with different kinds of jam. The ones my father got me was filled with my favourite, durian jam! Yum-my! Also, don't you think they look so beautiful in these mini red-coloured paper cups?
I think durian nastar is the perfect introduction to durian for westerners. Although I never found the smell to be off-putting, I heard that the 2-day-old-sock-like smell is the worst part of a durian. With the nastar, you get the best things of a durian. The jam is made of concentrated durian taste without any of the smell, plus you get the sweet pastry to go with it.