March 6, 2013 by farbolino
While in Brunei, I knew I had to try ambuyat; so what is it?
Wikipedia defines it as: Ambuyat is a dish derived from the interior trunk of the sago palm. It is a starchy bland substance, similar to tapioca starch. Ambuyat is a local delicacy in Brunei, as well as the Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak where it is sometimes known as linut.
Ambuyat is eaten with a bamboo fork called a chandas, by rolling the starch around the prongs and then dipping it into a sauce, of which there are many varieties.
Most importantly though, what does it taste like? Well actually it doesn’t really have a taste on its own, so it tastes like whatever sauce you dip it in. Unfortunately the first thing I dipped it was Durian flavored sauce. If you don’t know what a Durian fruit is and you’re too lazy to click on the link, then my very brief explanation is that it’s a fruit that doesn’t taste particularly good, but worse yet smells like a pair of socks you wore on a jungle trek for a week and a half without washing. Some people have even described it as smelling like raw sewage or rotten flesh. In fact the fruit is ban from most public transport, taxis and hotels throughout SE Asia. There was even a $1000 fine for eating it on the metro in Singapore. Sounds good right?
Well, it must be an acquired taste because some Asians LOVE IT. I’ve seen some of them eat it like it was tastier then ice cream. Anyways; back to the ambuyat.
It actually tasted fine when dipped into the other sauces. Ironically for me I liked it best when dipped into a peanut sauce that was meant for satay (meat on a stick). It tasted delicious! OK, ok, it tasted like peanuts…
The most interesting thing about eating the ambuyat though was that you couldn’t chew it; or risk it getting stuck in your mouth that is. You have to use the sauce as a sort of lubricant to force the ambuyat down your throat. Alright, I know what you’re thinking; but no sex jokes please. That’s the reason I’d have to rank ambuyat as the weirdest thing I’ve eaten, but not the grossest thing by far. I have a separate list for that.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten? I’d be curious to know.