Monday, July 23, 2018

Jackfruit: An Everyday Food in South East Asia

Fresh Whole Jackfruit 

Canned jackfruit (mixed with other fruits) is some time found in the US grocery such as Walmart. But import caned with all jackfruit (no mixed) and the fresh, especially whole jackfruit could be found in Asian groceries only. We can buy per-pound or sliced as well. 

Back home to South East Asian, jackfruit is everywhere foods, we can get free from neighborhoods. The whole fruits are mainly 6 pounds weight, but some could reach to 40 pounds. Since it is imported, jackfruits are luxury in the USA, the price depend on the quality. The average price around US$ 5 per-pound, but could be US$ 17.10 per-pound, so expensive.

Ripe jackfruits without seeds. 

For many American fellows, they see jackfruit like gigantic spiny kiwi. When they try to open, surprisingly the flesh is sticky, then peeling the flesh will be messy. Membranes cover the flesh and seed inside the flesh must be taken away. 

Ripe jackfruits could be eaten directly, the color is yellow and sweet tasted. The sweetened comparatively to mango or pineapple. The green jackfruit (unripe) could be used for cooking or salads, like vegetables. 

Some people make jam and syrup from jackfruits. We often eat seeds as well by boiling in water or roasting with small fires for dishes. 

Jackfruit supplies antioxidants, minerals, vitamins and fibers. Hence the fruit is good for health.  

Saturday, July 14, 2018

France Vs Croatia: Data, Feeling and Motivation

Final 2018 World Cup: France Vs Croatia (

Based on the football world cup history, no body disputes the fact that France “superior” than Croatia. It is because France won crown in the 1998 in her own country; runner up in 2006 in Germany; semifinalist in 1958 in Sweden, 1982 in Spain and 1986 in Mexico. 

In 2018 World Cup, France performance is “excellent,” never lost to any squads. France beat two favorite teams, Argentine (4 – 3) and Belgium (1 – 0). Meanwhile, Belgium is ranked 1, and best football team in the world by FIFA recently. 

However, Croatia is not bad, especially in this 2018 World Cup championship, Croatia managed to win all games as well. At Group D, Croatia won over: 
Nigeria by 2 – 0 
Argentine by 3 – 0
Iceland by 2 – 1 

Then, Croatia beat Denmark at round 16 and beat Russia at quarter final. The squad won by penalties over Denmark and Russia.  Croatia entered final after beating England with 2 to 1 scores.  

People may argue that they bet France to be the next champion based on the data and facts. Other might be choosing Croatia due to their own feeling or favoritism. Whatever reasons, the most important thing to win the game is motivation.  

Croatian players admitted that they are angry to the English press. The press denounced their performances during world cup. The players fight against England with full spirit. We know the result: Croatia entered the 2018 World Cup final. 

What Croatians motivation against France is? What France motivation to be the winner? Wait and watch, whose motivation is the best to drive them to reach the peak!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Boiled Plantain as a Sweet Dish

Boiled of ripe plantain 

The first time I saw plantain was in the USA, later I aware that it was originally from my region, South East Asia. Quite odd, I never saw this kind of fruit in my own country, Indonesia. The size is bigger than banana, but in my eyes, it was totally different than banana in term of size and shape. 

Other different that plantain skin is thicker than banana, contain lower sugar and starchier. Since starchier, plantain not eaten raw, and not treated as fruit but vegetable. Plantain served in form of fried, baked and roasted. As usual, not eaten in the form of raw.  

Skin color is like banana, green when raw, yellow when ripe and even turn to be black when riper or more mature. Scientifically, they are the same Genus called as Musa. The Musa have around 70 species, include plantain and banana. 

Raw plantain with green color 

Plantains are staple foods, and to be important as traditional diets in many part of the worlds, especially in South America, Caribbean, Africa and South Asia (India). At first time, I tried to fry them. I taste like fried banana back home. I like it, then fry it on regularly basis. Eventually, I boil to avoid cooking oil. Nice and healthy. 

Plantain are easy to find in the markets (farmer market or Walmart groceries) everywhere in the USA. The price is reasonable, 54 cents each. Nutritional contents of each plantain are following: 

-Carbohydrates (57 gram with 27 gram sugar)
-No cholesterol
-Fiber (4 gram). 

In addition, plantain is source of mineral and vitamin to maintain balance diet and healthy body. Dietary fiber is crucial as a substance to manage cholesterol and blood sugar level. Each plantain is estimated to provide 20% of daily fiber requirement by body.

Monday, July 9, 2018

France Vs Belgium: England Premier League?

France Vs Belgium 

FIFA World Cup 2018, semi final between France and Belgium look like England premier competitions, why? It is because 8 players of Belgium and 4 players of France are from many clubs based in England. Some of them are friends in the same clubs such as Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea. 

Belgium has a “brilliant” striker, Romelu Lukaku with 4 goals in this World Cup so far. He has a wonderful performance during match with Brazil. He broke Brazil’s defense by quick running, then forward the ball to open second goals by Kevin De Bruyne (Belgian players for Manchester City) as a winning goal for Belgium. 

On the other side, France has an excellent team too. Kylian Mbappe (France) is the second expensive player with US$ 213 million as a transfer cost. Didier Deschamps is the third highest earning coach with salary US$ 4.1 million. 

Like a war, the crucial thing is how Robert Martinez, Belgium Coach and Didier Deschamps, French coach to apply their strategies. It is interesting to know how Kylian Mbappe could be able to stop Belgium strikers, Romelu Lukaku and Kevin De Bruyne. 

We love to see highly quality matched between Belgium and Brazil in the quarter final, where Belgium deployed combine strategies of offensive and defensive, and counter attacks sometimes. Player freely to run and dribble the ball from corner to corner, and head to head. An amazing game. 

Interesting facts that 6 previous World Cup winners in the average age of 27.1 years old, and Belgium squad in the perfect range of 27.7 years old averages. As comparison, France players average age were 26 years old. 

Two sport analysts from Fox Sports and Forbes predicted that Belgium to win against France, and highly likely to get crown of FIFA World Cup 2018.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Two Former World Cup Champions: France and England

Will France vs England at final? (

We just got result that Russia was beaten by Croatia by penalties with end score of 3 – 4. Even though lost, Russians improved their performance from ranked 18th to be top 8 of World Cup in 2018. 

We have 4 teams in semifinal now, England vs Croatia and France Vs Belgium in coming days. Of the four teams, historically, France and England won world cup only. Both as hosts, France in 1998 and England in 1966. 

France is a quite impressive team with other records: second place in 2006. Three times entered semifinal in 1958, 1982 and 1986. The last world cup performance was ranked 7th in 2014.  

England, in addition to world champion in 1966, she entered semi final in 1990, and ranked 26th in the last world championship (2014). 

The highest performance of Belgium and Croatia was semifinal stage, 1986 for Belgium and 1998 for Croatia. The last world cup performance (2014) was bad for Croatia, but quite good for Belgium with ranked 6th.   

Based on these facts, highly probably that France and England will enter the final. However, world cup is place where a lot of surprising occurs. Let’s wait and watch !!

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Indonesia, the First Asian Country Entered FIFA World Cup

Indonesian Team ( 

Once, Indonesia was recorded as the first and an Asian only presentative to enter  Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Cup. It was happening at the third championship in 1938. Fifteen teams played in France from 4 to 19 of June on that time. 

The teams are following: Italy, Hungary, Brazil, Sweden, Czechoslovakia, Switzerland, Cuba, France, Romania, Germany, Poland, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands and Dutch East Indi. Indonesia was called Dutch East Indi, since the country did not independence yet. 

Indonesian players are mixing of Dutch and local, they are:
Bing Mo Heng 
Herman Zommers
Franz Meeng
Isaac Pattiwael
Frans Pede Hukom
Hans Taihattu
Pan Hong Tjien
Jack Sammuels
Suwarte Soedermandji
Anwar Sutan

Unfortunately, Indonesia was beaten by Hungary with score 0 - 6, big loss. The game was held on June 5, 1938 at Stade Velodrome, Reims, France. Hungary eventually to be finalist and lose from Italy by 2 – 4.  

Since then, Indonesia never participate in FIFA World Cup anymore due to underperformed in pre-qualification sessions. At the South East Asian level, Indonesia look very weak, could be beaten by any teams never heard before. Small countries such as Laos could win big against Indonesia. 

Some problems faced by Indonesian team include lack of funding, bad regular competition from low to top level and decreasing of fields to play football for children in many cities, especially in the cities and rural areas of Java island. The island is used to be sources of qualified players. 

No sight will Indonesia participate in FIFA World Cup again. No body knows.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Will Russia Win World Cup 2018?

Failed prediction of World Cup 2018 ( 

Based on prediction made on November 2017, the following team estimated to enter quarter final: Spain, Argentina, Germany, England, Portugal, France, Brazil and Belgium. As usual, Brazil always a favorite team to be predicted as a champion. 

How far the prediction is true? As of today, July 2nd, 2018, the quarter final teams are following Uruguay, France, Russia and Croatia. Three prominent teams, Argentina, Spain and Portugal are out of stage. We are waiting the result for other 4 teams which will make quarter final. 

Surprisingly, France only is corresponding to prediction so far. Nobody would predict Russia as one of quarter final teams. The question is: Will Russia go forward, and then win the championship? Let’s us analyze! 

The former Russia country was called the Soviet Union, first time play in World Cup was in Sweden in 1958. Total participations were 7 times from 1958 to 1991 with the best achievement was the 4th place in England in 1966. 

Russia as a country played first time at World Cup game in the USA in 1994. Since then, the best achievement was 18th place. Even twice did not qualify for World Cup. Not special. 

However, Russia has several advantages than other teams, first as a host, thus has full support from supporters. Second, many Russians play in the top European leagues, scatters in the countries such as Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Netherland, Belgium and Finland.  

In addition, the players in the Russian leagues got annual salary with average US$ 1.4 million. The trainer, Stanislav Cherchesov salary is US$ 3.02 million. Both coach and players are among the highest paid in the world. 

These facts might support the prediction that Russian is possible be the winner of the World Cup 2018. What is in your mind?