On Sulawesi, wrapped and twisted rectangles of dried corn husk hide baje kacang (bah-jay kah-jahng),
irregularly shaped balls of roasted peanuts glued together with aren palm sugar. The combination of savory-salty nuts with smoky, slightly bitter sugar is something like the best part of Cracker Jacks (c'mon former Cracker Jack eaters, go ahead and admit that you used to pick through the caramel popcorn for the candy-coated peanuts) -- only one thousand times better, because small-batch Indonesian palm sugar has got it all over mass-produced American molasses.
Another minimalist Indonesian sweet that's beyond delicious.
A conservative estimate of how many baje kacang we consumed over the course of 10 days in Toraja would put the number at, oh, 100 each. And we carried a few bags home (they quickly disappeared). If we came back from Sulawesi with cavities (I feel a twinge in lower molar), baje kacang are the culprit.
After dedicated, extensive sampling we can assert with confidence that Rantepao's best baje kacang are sold by two female vendors on the Pasar Bolo (the big morning market, not the one by the river). They can be found outside, on a corner of the market at the opposite end from the tuak (palm wine) sellers, sitting or standing behind their table piled high with baje kacang in yellow plastic bags (28 pieces for Rp10,000.) Their baje feature super-fresh, crunchy peanuts and gula that's glossy and crackly rather than old, dried out, and crumbly.