Priuk’s Weblog

September 19, 2008

THE TRADITIONAL FOODS OF BALI

Filed under: Indonesian Traditional Food — priuk @ 7:19 am
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Bali doesn’t only have the beauty of tourism; it also has culinary richness that we must try. Bali traditional foods are united in daily life of Balinese because they serve these foods in ritual ceremony. This makes the foods are so unique.

Real Balinese food is not readily available to tourists unless a Balinese family invites the tourist to a meal or he goes to a temple. Restaurants catering for tourists do not serve authentic Balinese dishes, nor do hotels. The reason is that there is too much preparation, large quantities have to be prepared and it has to be eaten when it is fresh. It is often spicy and very tasty.

Bali has a number of rules concerning food, drink and behavior. Cake is always served with coffee or tea, nuts and krupuk with rice wine, and tea, water or tuak with the meal. The host does not usually eat with guests. Besides, they eat with their right hand, as the left is impure.
Famous Balinese dishes are lawar, babi guling, bebek betutu, and rujak. Lawar traditionally cooked by men, who chop up strips of turtle or mango or coconut, add various spices and mix it with uncooked blood, so that it is red.

Babi Guling (roast suckling pig) is a great favorite amongst the Balinese, although the pigs are usually too old to be suckling, they are stuffed with spices, impaled on a wooden pole and turned over a fire of coconut husks and wood for one or two hours. Bebek Betutu is duck stuffed with spices and vegetables, wrapped in a banana leaf, and cooked for three or four hours. Rujak is a refreshing sweet and sour salad containing unripe fruit such as mango or papaya, mixed with sugar, chilly and salt.

Types of desserts that Balinese have are Black Rice Pudding and Jaja. Black rice pudding is also known as tofu: soy bean curd. Jaja is crunchy shelled soy beans that have been mixed with a special strain of yeast to form a small flat cake, which are then fried – it tastes a bit nutty.

Beside foods, Balinese also have traditional drinks like Tuak, Arak, and Brem. Tuak is made by cutting the undeveloped flower of either the coconut or the sugar palm tree. You then collect the sugary liquid that exudes into a bamboo container and ferment it. Arak is distilled tuak. It has a much higher alcoholic content and is colourless. It has a very sharp, biting taste. Since there is no fermentation, it can be bottled and sold. As the taste is unpleasant, the Balinese mix it with spices. It can also be added to coffee or mixed with brem. Brem, pronounced “brum”, is rice wine. It is a pleasant drink and can be drunk neat, over ice or mixed with arak. It is sweet and is made from glutinous rice or sticky rice. The rice is cooked for hours. Yeast is added. It is then allowed to ferment for three days, at which point the brem drains into a pan.

Those are things about Bali culinary you should try. For you who are Muslim, you need to be careful for your choice of food because many kinds of it contain prohibited ingredients for you. You may just say “halal” every time you order food. Interested to try?

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