My Bali life has many flavours and scents, also thanks to the food, so diverse, combining sensations that my taste buds have never imagined.
I wish I could convey more than just the look of the food available in Indonesia. But I would like to give you at least a teaser of what to expect when you come here.
Coffee. Robusta, Arabica, kopi hitam atau kopi susu? Coffee tastes incredibly good here, even better when on a boat somewhere between the thousands islands of Indonesia.
I grew up – I started drinking black coffee without sugar here. Next to my coffee there is fried banana – pisang goreng. Having a snack in Gili Trawangan.
Wide variety of tea and coffee: vanilla, ginger and… luwak coffee which I’d rather skip. Luwak coffee is now a huge industry which makes the poor animals suffer in captivity. Luwak is the animal which eats coffee grains and partly digest them. Then the coffee is defecated and sold for a crazy amount of money. Luwaks are stuffed with drugs to poop more. Imagine you are a luwak.
Nasi Ayam Kacang Mete – this time with no ayam (chicken is replaced with tofu). Currently one of my favourite meals. Vegetables and cashew nuts in sweet soya sauce. With rice, of course.
Rice, which should be my first picture in this gallery. I eat rice twice or three times a day here. Locals don’t feel that they have eaten until they have rice. Potatoes or noodles are not an alternative to rice, they could only be a side dish. Rice is the most commonly consumed staple food in the world – it is the basis of the diet of 1/3 of the world population. Side effects? Rice agriculture is a big source of atmospheric methane. Long story short – people either stop eating rice and die of famine or first destroy the environment, overpopulate the world and then die fighting each other to get access to limited resources.
Nasi campur – rice with side dishes. Tastes best when eaten with hands.
Nasi campur – this time with shrimps, bean sprouts and water spinach ( kangkung). This meal was so delicious that I tried it twice: when it was coming in and then out of my mouth, because I had it just before boarding a speed boat, which was shaking in all possible directions. As you can see, the way the meal is served does not require a lot of washing up.
Nasi campur for take-away. Wrapped in banana leaves, stiched up with little bamboo sticks. Some time ago, when all packagings were organic like this, people could freely trash them wherever they wanted with no damage to the environment. Nowadays, they do the same, unfortunately with plastic packagings though.
Lontong – rice cake which is served instead of plain rice. It’s traditionally cooked in a banana leaf, but nowadays the leaf is often replaced with a plastic bag. On the picture lontong is served with sate ayam – grilled chicken meat on sticks in sweet peanut sauce.
Since I have stopped eating meat with the New Year’s, I am posting this picture to show you what level of hygiene meat lovers can expect in Indonesia.
Cacao is so widely spread in Indonesia. However, when I have visitors from western countries, I always ask them to bring me chocolate. Chocolate production is not an Indonesian thing. Cacao is first exported to the countries specialised in chocolate industry, and then the ready product is imported and distributed here. Money-wise the choice you face in Indonesia is whether you eat two meals in a warung or a small bar of chocolate.
Dragon fruit – buah naga. This pink variety’s flesh looks like a beetroot, tastes flowery and delicious, and makes your urine pink. Enjoy the experience.
First row from the left: mango, I don’t know what (Any idea what this could be? The flesh looks like pumpkin, but it’s sweet and soft. This is neither passion fruit nor guava), and rambutan. Rambutan tastes a little bit like lychee, and its name comes from ‘hair’, in Indonesian: rambut.
A woman selling coconuts in Sape, Sumbawa. From coconut this old you can get the most flesh, which can be later used for different purposes, including making sweets.
A young coconut wouldn’t have much flesh, but water from the inside is very tasty and nutritious. It’s considered a natural isotonic drink.
Balinese sweets made of rice flour and pandan leaves (this is where the green colour comes from), filled with coconut, wrapped in banana leaves.
Laklak – a balinese pancake made of rice flour and pandan leaves, topped with shredded coconut and palm sugar.
The wide variety of Balinese sweets – they are all made of the same ingredients, taste almost the same. They just look different.
More sweets, this time from Flores: the green thing is little pancakes stuffed with coconut, the yellow thing is pisang molen (banana wrapped in pastry and deep-fried), the orange thing is a coconut cake.
Kue Cubit – little pancakes with rum raisin and almond toppings. The best dessert in Jimbaran, available in the night food market at Jln Uluwatu. The best possible investment of $1.
My favourite food place in Jimbaran is the fishmarket. This is where you can buy fish and other seafood straight from fishermen, and have it prepared on the spot.
Cumi-cumi & udang (calamari and shripms). Grilled, or fried, both delicious.
Crabs, almost ready to eat.
Sambal – the chilli sauce that I got addicted to.
Nalu Bowls at Uluwatu Beach. It’s not traditional Balinese food and also costs as much as five meals in a warung.
Terang bulan – a fluffy pancake which comes with a variety of toppings. Unbelievably greasy and sweet. The name means ‘bright moon’.
Macadamia – not that easy to open. Bena Village, Flores.
Bintang – Indonesian beer. I cannot think of any adjectives. It’s just beer. I miss Belgium and Czech Republic at the moment.
Street food has different connotations here than in Europe. It’s still fast, but not processed. And does not contain preservatives.