Posted by: Gurindam Jiwa | Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sambal Oelek From St Petersburg, St Louis

It was dawn on the 9th of dZulhijjah (16 November 2010). An exciting early morning, because we could perform the first after-prayer Eid takbir for this Eid ul-Adha.

When all were done, during the customary handshakes, this particular handshake was a little different. This guy wouldn’t let go. It made me look up, “Aaaah, brother Muzafar! So you’re back. When?”

Last night.

As we were finishing the handshakes, Muzafar gestured at me to wait. A present from half-way around the world. The Sambal Oelek!

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Thank you very much brother!!! The last time I had these was way back in May 1994. More than 16 years ago.

My wife couldn’t figure out what was so good about it. Well, it wasn’t really very very good. It’s just that when it’s about the only thing hot that you could get straight from the shelf… hmmm…. It used to be one of those must stock items in the kitchen.

It tastes like Sambal Belacan without the belacan, with added vinegar, probably as preservative. It tastes almost exactly like the sambal you’d find in a pack of Nasi Belauk in Kelantan.

This “reunion” was after several tries, you see. The first was something like, "Oh, I forgot." Back in 1998. The last one was about three years ago. The customs didn’t allow it in carry-on luggage. The liquid might explode! Duh!

Now I just have to wait for that elusive Sambal Badjak. This company doesn’t make it anymore, so any other brand will do. I guess.

Just being nostalgic.



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