It's A Shame KFC Indonesia's Cheese Donut Never Hit Menus In The US

Perhaps crushing a bucket of fried chicken for breakfast isn't really your speed, but might you be interested in a cheese donut? If a sugary donut topped with salty shredded cheese sounds more like a snack fit for Eric Cartman than a real breakfast item consumed by human adults, you've never been to KFC in Indonesia. 

While KFC is strictly a lunch and dinner joint here in the United States, some international locations sought to expand their patronage to the breakfast crowd with a KFC coffee menu, which offers both iced and hot coffee drinks as well as a smattering of breakfast foods. Only in Indonesia, though, can you get your hands on a KFC cheese donut.

Dipped in glaze and topped with a hearty helping of shredded swiss and cheddar cheese, KFC's cheese donut has the same wacky air as the American-born donut burger. KFC Indonesia also offers dishes that are variations on typical Indonesian breakfast foods. The Super Breakfast, consisting of rice, eggs, and fried chicken, isn't all that different from popular Nasi Goreng, and they offer a chicken porridge reminiscent of comforting Burbur Ayam. For those who feel a little less adventurous in the morning, however, the menu also offers more traditional donut flavors such as Double Chocolate, which features chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles, as well as a Choconut donut, topped with chocolate frosting and chopped hazelnuts.

Indonesia's love of cheesy desserts runs deep

The cheese donuts served in Indonesian KFCs may seem like a one-off invention, but a similar cheese-topped donut can also be found in Dunkin Donuts' locations across the country, and they even offer a chocolate and cheese donut. In the U.S. we see nothing odd in desserts made with mild white cheeses, like ricotta or mascarpone, but in Indonesia, they prefer the saltiness of a sharper cheese. While tossing some cheddar on a sweet pastry or dessert may seem like an unusual way to combine sweet and savory elements, Indonesians have been blending these flavors for more than a century. Martabak, a thick, folded pancake filled with chocolate, chopped nuts, and cheddar, is one of Indonesia's most popular street food desserts, and for many Indonesian children, grilled bread with cheese and chocolate sprinkles is the snack of choice.

Several other Asian countries incorporate cheese into traditional desserts. Ensaymada, originating from the Philippines, are sweet, brioche-style buns, covered with finely grated cheddar and sprinkled with sugar. Meanwhile in India, chhena poda, a sweet cake made from paneer cheese and rice flour and flavored with cardamom, is a local favorite, though paneer is a mild white cheese like ricotta or mascarpone. Of course, there are probably plenty of food combinations we eat every day in the U.S. that would seem baffling to foreigners. Who knows what culinary delights we'll discover if we keep an open mind?