There are certain foods that is just better left untouched, unmade, uncreated. Certain foods that embrace the tagline the simpler the better. Certain food that doesn’t need all the make up, uber creative garnish or rare ingredients to make them jolt. They are just best when they just the way they are.
And this is one of a kind.
It takes only flour, water, salt and oil to make the dough. While the filling is only consist of rice beehoon, shredded carrot, chopped celery seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper and msg. MSG WHAAAAAT? Oh well, I know, I can read your mind the health counselor mamas. I know that how much delicious a food wouldn’t flirt us if they contain MSG. But now we are talking about the simplicity of it best, the street traditional snack vendor that is just too hard to reject.
Trust me, I’ve been trying at my best to imitate these Martabak Kampung, and all I can say is, I always end up in failure. From erase the MSG thingy, substitute it with shrimp, chicken or any natural flavor that fancy me, from katsuobushi until mushroom. But they are just not the same. There is no traditional taste that kicks my tongue. There is no simplicity that invites my drool.
So yes, I am giving up.
For once in a life, there must be some point where you have just to be surrender and accept your fate, no matter how hard you have tried to change them. Maybe that just how universe works. Some thing is just meant to be something, not our thing. Someone is just meant to be a seller, while we’re just meant to be the buyer.
So yeah, for this exceptional traditional food called Martabak Kampung, I accept my fate. Accepting my fate as a buyer, a loyal one to Yu Ma – that is just how she’s called, despite her beautiful name Maryamah (Karpov, maybe?) – the Martabak Kampung seller. I am so glad to know her personally, to taste her magic in her food. And guess what, I am not alone as her big aficionado. Some of my neighbor always buy like 50 pieces of her martabak, wrapped it in tight sealed plastic, and bought them fly to Jakarta as a gift to his family. While my brother in law who lives in Bali always bring home 20-40 martabak for his wife and children. They said they freeze the martabak once they got home, and those bunch of martabak disappeared not more than 2 days.
Is that good?
Well, every food is personal to our thing. It might remind us of certain memories. And by eating them, we wish we are recalling the memories. So, yes, these martabak are just that good in our personal preference. And once again, I am glad to have these martabak kampung in my life.