Malaysians up in arms over CNN calling cendol ‘Singaporean’

CNN’s ranking of the world’s top 50 desserts has sparked a heated debate over cendol’s origins. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
CNN’s ranking of the world’s top 50 desserts has sparked a heated debate over cendol’s origins. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

PETALING JAYA, Dec 3 — Is cendol, the icy treat flavoured with pandan jelly, coconut milk and palm sugar, native to Malaysia or Singapore?

CNN’s latest list of ‘50 of the world’s best desserts’ includes cendol, but their description of the dish being from Singapore has left Malaysian foodies feeling more bitter than sweet.

On their website, CNN describes cendol as a ‘blissfully cool dessert’ and acknowledges that different versions of it can be found throughout South-east Asia, but says that Singapore’s take on the dish with sweet red beans makes it ‘especially tempting’.

The statement has created a sticky situation with Malaysian social media users who believe it was unfair to credit Singapore for having the best cendol in the region.

 

 

 

 

“Dear CNN, do come over to Melaka and try our Cendol,” said Bobby Chew on Facebook.

“Ask [Singapore] where they get their brown sugar from,” wrote Roy Chor, referring to gula melaka, an essential ingredient in the dessert.

Besides cendol, CNN’s hotly debated list of desserts also included dan tat (egg tarts) from Hong Kong, Japanese cheesecake, and tiramisu from Italy.

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