We have no idea why this is, but Indonesians have a very weird relationship with corn. If you’re anything like us, you would never have thought that they would eat corn in Indonesia. I mean, in Asia, the starchy grain of choice is rice, right? In Indonesia, at least, they also eat a surprising amount of corn. We believe this is because some parts of eastern Indonesia are too dry to grow rice. The terrain resembles Australia, not lush tropical jungles.
At any rate, it’s not just that they have corn fritters (like latkes made out of corn) and corn starch and corn oil. They also use corn as a regular snack. In the mall near our house, there is–we kid you not–a stand called "Cup of Corn" that sells cups of corn. That’s it. Like, you could just go up and get a cup of corn. In fact, you can’t get anything else, just a cup of corn. You know, just like Green Giant corn kernels. This causes us no small amount of puzzlement.
Then there’s our most recent discovery. Walking by the Pizza Hut in our local mall, we saw an advertisement for a topping called "Beeforn." Beef + Corn. Regular Pizza Hut pizza, but with little beef hot dogs and corn kernels as the topping. This accompanies the other unique topping, "Beetato," which is (yes) beef hot dogs and potatoes. This also looked like it had corn in it.
Maybe we’re just being silly Americans unwilling to accept foreign cultures as being different from us, but we find this corn obsession to be totally bizarre.
NB: For all of you who noticed the giant earthquake (7.2) in East Timor, don’t worry, we are thousands of miles away, quite a bit inland, and hence not underwater from any tidal waves. We hope all the people traveling home for Idul Fitri are going to make it OK.