Due to the limited recordings of food history in Southeast Asia, though, the true origins of cendol can be a little contentious. While the earliest mention of cendol was found in a piece of Malaysian text—a 1932 article from the Malaysian newspaper Saudara—the dessert has gone by many other regional names. Indonesians, for one, have claimed that cendol is really a spin-off of their dawet, a drink made from the same ingredients as cendol, but without the shaved ice. Then there's Thai lot chong and Burmese mont lat saung, both of which are dessert-style drinks with the same constituent ingredients. With or without the shaved ice, the coconut milk is always fresh, the palm sugar is thick and dark like molasses, and most crucially, the little strings of rice-flour jelly are tinged electric green by pandan, a leafy Southeast Asian shrub with a nutty, grassy flavor.