Saturday, June 21, 2008

The sweet of joyfulness

When I was kid, it’s easy to find street vendors who sell sugarcane juice in Medan, North Sumatra. They are very unique sellers who bring a manual or diesel-powered sugarcane extractor. This usually consists of two steel cylinders placed side by side. Each cylinder rolls to opposite ways and when you pushing a bar of sugarcane between the rollers, the bar will be crushed, resulting an unique and attractive-looked juice. It could be repeated several times until you’re sure that the bar is totally dry and no more resulting extract. You don’t need to add any sweeten as the juice already has a perfect sweet taste.

A street vendor sells sugarcane juice in a corner of city of Jambi

Guess what, I found this sugarcane juice vendor during walking around city of Jambi. Surprise! All memories suddenly opened in front my eyes. It’s been long time not tasting the special juice like I did in the past.

So, I left my mom –who’s busy with shopping with my sister and my wife looking for local batik clothes- to visit the vendor’s little kiosk. Dozens of sugar cane bars orderly arranged in transparent glass box. The juice price is quite cheap, only IDR 2,000 (USD 22 cent) per cup.

Sugarcane bars ready for extracted

Now it’s the show time. The vendor turned on her extractor machine and started to crush the sugar cane bars one by one. Different with what I saw 30 years ago, this juice colour is greenish instead brownish. “It’s because the different kind of sugarcane,” said Ridho, friend of my brother who joint with us in the travelling. Only three bars of sugar cane needed to get a full glass of juice before I tasted it later and….


A glass of greenish sugarcane juice

It was a moment of truth, an unbelievable experience. A feeling that had been forgotten for long time finally came again. The juice is really fresh with a light sweet taste and good smell.

My brothers and Ridho might saw a flash of joyfulness in my eyes caused by such exciting experience. I successfully provoked them to also ordered the same drink as I did :)

And the sugar ane juice party just began in that sunny afternoon; at a small kiosk in city of Jambi.

The sugarcane, that tasted good
The cinnamon, that

Come on, come on…

(Michael Stipe, R.E.M: Imitation of Life)

1 comment:

dita said...

Hmm.. Kalo di Aceh biasa disebut Ie Tebe.
Yang paling enak di pengkolan dekat Nusa, dinikmati bersama goreng pisang. Atau bisa juga gule kambing bumbu spesial.. nyamm nyamm dan pasti langsung teler.