Did you know that the popular snack cilok – tapioca skewers with peanut sauce –originated from Indonesia? It started off as being an inexpensive meal but now it's sold in many upscale cafes and modern bakeries. It’s also not just served with peanut sauce nowadays, but with other yummy sides like mozzarella cheese as well, and has truly evolved from being a traditional, modest meal into a modern oleh-oleh. 

There are many traditional treats that can be “transformed” into modern yet stylish goodies fit for contemporary bakeries. Here are some ways to go about it.

Use unique topping

Use unique topping

For instance, if you sell martabak manis (Indonesian-style sweet pancakes), the usual toppings are chocolate, cheese, or nuts. Try using unusual substitutes such as strawberry, almond, or durian. Another alternative is changing the colour of the murtabak itself using food dye. 

Try different filling combinations

Try different filling combinations

Beside toppings, you can make unique cake fillings as well. For example, if you sell kue leker (Indonesian crepes), usually the filling is sugar, chocolate, or banana. Create more attractive fillings by combining the staple flavours with other ingredients such as kiwi, strawberry, or even scrambled eggs with vegetables. 

Create a whole new taste

Create a whole new taste

Instead of adding to existing ingredients, why not come up with a completely different taste? People know kue putu (an Indonesian traditional steamed cake cooked in bamboo) has only a sweet palm sugar filling. You can change the taste by filling it with chicken, sliced meat, or other different ingredients to give it a completely new taste. Then, when served with modern topping, it will be brand new putu dish that might become a favourite menu item. 

Upgrade to modern packaging

Upgrade to modern packaging

Sometimes, all you need is a simple touch to make snacks look more stylish. One method is by switching to modern packaging. With an attractive design, customers will be more enticed to buy your products and give them a try.