Monday, November 17, 2008

Balinese Drinks

Balinese Drinks
Tuak, arak and brem are the main Balinese home brews:

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. Fermented palm tree juice is drunk all over tropical Asia, Africa and America. It is the "toddy" of English colonialists and is drunk in the innumerable small warungs all over the island. It has about the same alcoholic content as beer.

Brem, pronounced "brum", is rice wine. It can be bought commercially, but ours is home made. Like arak, it is used in almost all ceremonies. 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 (as it is also called). The rice is cooked for hours. Yeast is added. It is then allowed to ferment for three days, whereupon the brem drains into a pan. There are commercial factories, but the taste is not so good. It is not exported.

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. Arak is used as an offering in religious ceremonies. Having no sugar content, arak will keep indefinitely, unlike tuak. It cannot be a coincidence that the Mongols made distilled liquor called airak.

Balinese Wine
In the last few years, local wines have been produced, using Australian grapes. There is red, white and ros�, grown and bottled by two companies, Hatten and Wine of the Gods.

The Balinese use a wide range of ingredients. Instructions on how to prepare them are contained in the article entitled Balinese Recipes.

Balinese Drinks
Bali Food
Arak Bali
Indonesian Drinks

Bali Foods

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. The Balinese traditionally used banana leaves as plates.

Balinese chickens are much healthier and have the taste of real chicken, but can be tougher than Western battery-fed chickens. Battery-fed chickens only live for 41 days, specially and artificially bred to produce large chunks of breast and short legs. The rush is now on to reduce the period of 41 days.

There are 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

The Balinese eat with their right hand, as the left is impure, a common belief throughout Indonesia. The Balinese do not hand or receive things with their left hand and would not waive at anyone with their left hand.
Famous Balinese dishes
Famous Balinese dishes are:

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 favourite amongst the Balinese, although the pigs are usually too old to be suckling - from three to six months old, 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
duck stuffed with spices and vegetables, wrapped in a banana leaf, and cooked for three or four hours, this dish is eaten on special occasions.

a refreshing sweet and sour salad containing unripe fruit such as mango or papaya, mixed with sugar, chill and salt.

There are some common sauces:

Sambal very spicy chili seasoning.

Kecap asin sour soy sauce.

Kecap manis sweet soy sauce.

There are a number of desserts:

Black rice pudding also known as tofu: soy bean curd.

Jaja crunchy shelled soy beans that have been mixed with a special strain of yeast to form a small flat cake, which are then friend - it tastes a bit nutty. Snacks
Very tasty, but not spicy, dishes or snacks are:

Tahu or beancurd also known as tofu: soy bean curd.

Krupuk prawn crackers.

Tempe crunchy shelled soy beans that have been mixed with a special strain of yeast to form a small flat cake, which are then friend - it tastes a bit nutty.

Bali Fruits

The exotic, interesting fruits of Bali, and indeed the rest of Asia, are one of the best reasons for visiting. Bananas, coconuts and pineapples are well known - although you may not be prepared for the numerous varieties of bananas that are available.

The mangoes and papayas or pawpaws, which are now available in the West, are better in Bali. They have their seasons. Others are not available outside the tropics because they do not travel well and may not even be known outside Bali.

Tasty, interesting fruits are:

The durian legendary is in the tropics. People either love it or hate it. It has an obnoxious smell and frightening appearance, weighs about 3 or 4 kilograms and is covered in large spikes. It is yellowish-green and has a hard shell. A creamy white pulp covers the seeds, which is what people eat.

Very good durians are for sale on the Kedewatan road from Ubud to Ponggang at the beginning of the rainy season in November.

Everyone likes this delicious sweet fruit. Queen Victoria offered to knight the first person who could get it to England in an edible condition. Nobdy succeeded. The shell is deep purple. It is a bit hard and has to be twisted or cut off to reveal four or five segments of brilliant white fruit. The season starts in December.

Lychee :
These are a native of South China. Payangan is the only place in Bali where they are cultivated. They taste acidic-sweet, rather like a grape. The season is late November. The bright red clusters of fruit are very attractive to fruit-eating bats, which usually get there first and finish them in one night.

These are known as pawpaws in the West. They are bigger in the tropics. The flesh is pink and rich in vitamin A. They are eaten at breakfast. There is no season.

Mangoes are particularly good in Bali. The season starts in September. They can be big. The best way to cut them is in four lengthwise cuts and then peel. Mango juice is good.

This red, hairy fruit grows in bunches in tall trees. Its name means "hairy", which describes it well. Take off the skin and eat the white, refreshing acid-sweet flesh that covers the single seed. The season starts in December.

These big, heavy, yellow fruits are very unusual and versatile. They be fried or eaten raw. They can also be cooked when they look like chunky pieces of meat. They are therefore ideal for vegetarians. They are the largest of all tropical fruits and weigh as much as 50 kilos.
The skin and protective white covering must be removed. Jackfruit juice tastes good. Jackfruit wood is yellow, easy to carve and is used for making wooden stands for musical instruments in the gamelan orchestra.

The grapefruit is a descendant of the pomelo. Pomelos are bigger than grapefruits. The flesh is coarse and needs to be cut away to reveal the pomelo segments. They are bigger, sweeter and have a more subtle taste than a grapefruit.

This fruit looks like a pear and has a reddish-brown, snake-like, scaly skin, which is easily peeled off to reveal crunchy, slightly astringent, white flesh. It grows in east Bali.

This yellowish-green five starred fruit is crisp and usually sweet.

This large fruit is green on the outside, white on the inside, with an acidic-sweet taste.

Bali Food, Bali Activities, 

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Ubud is located 35 km northeast of Bali's International Airport. It is attractive to tourists for a variety of reasons. On a relatively small island with a horde of attractions, Ubud is centrally located, and even the closest beach is only 15 minutes away.
Beautiful rice terraces in ubud area

The Ubud area is around two- to three hundred meters above sea level and surrounded by rice fields, which makes it noticeably cooler than then other tourist destinations in Bali. Neighbouring villages are well known for unique bamboo crafts and furniture, wood- and stone carving and many other crafts.

Ubud is famous for it's regularly nightly traditional dance performances, which are part of the traditional culture and are arranged for tourists on a regular schedule. Hindu-Balinese ceremonies take place on a nearly daily basis, especially in the European summer, which is the driest and coolest season here.
Monkey Forrest, Ubud

Ubud is popular in part today because it is the best place in Bali to break out of the tourist mode and get off the beaten path, although far from undiscovered. Hotels are plentiful; home stays and Indonesian guesthouses (losmen) are easily available to the foreign tourist. Many tourists simply base their entire stay in the city and travel to other destinations from Ubud.

Accommodations in Ubud are also somewhat more reasonably priced than in the beach towns of Bali. But atmosphere is perhaps the major attractions. One visitor summed it up this way: Kuta is madness, Sanur is sterile, and Nusa Dua is culturally isolated; Ubud is the place to go.

Ubud center of Bali, Ubud rice terraces, Ubud Museum, Antonio Blanco museum, Four Seasons Sayan Ubud, Bukit Tjampuhan, Pengosekan Penestanan Peliatan Kedewatan Singakerta, Ubud Palace and art Market, Maya Ubud, Uma Ubud, Lodtunduh Mas Ubud

Monkey Forest Padang Tegal Ubud

The Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal is owned by the village of Padangtegal. Village members serve on the Sacred Monkey Forest's governing council (The Padangtegal Wenara Wana Foundation). The Padangtegal Wenara Wana Foundation has historically strived to develop and implement management objectives that will both maintain the sacred integrity of the monkey forest and promote the monkey forest as a sacred site that is open to visitors from around the world.

In 1986, only 800 people per month (on average) were visiting the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal. Today, it is not uncommon for the monkey forest to host 10,000 visitors per month. Although the Padangtegal Wenara Wana Foundation welcomes the fact that a growing number of tourists are choosing to visit the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal, the Padangtegal Wenara Wana Foundation also recognizes that tourism can have negative impacts on the monkey forest's natural and cultural resources. As a result, some of the primary objectives of the Padangtegal Wenara Wana Foundation include:

* Educating people about the importance of conserving the Sacred Monkey Forest's natural and cultural resources.
* Maintaining a team of highly trained staff members that are responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the Sacred Monkey Forest.
* Monitoring and whenever necessary restoring the integrity of the Sacred Monkey Forest's natural and cultural resources.

The Padangtegal Wenara Wana Foundation would like to welcome you as a visitor to the Sacred Monkey Forest of Padangtegal. If you have any questions or need assistance, please ask a Wenara Wana staff member (identified in green uniforms). Currently, the entrance fee that visitors pay represents the primary source of funding for Padangtegal Wenara Wana Foundation natural and cultural resource management projects. The Padangtegal Wenara Wana Foundation requests that you help keep the visitor entrance fee nominal by respecting the sacredness of the Monkey Forest of Padangtegal, obeying all posted rules, and following the instructions of Wenara Wana staff members. In addition, if you enjoy your visit to the Sacred Monkey Forest, the Padangtegal Wenara Wana Foundation hopes that you will consider providing an additional monetary contribution (which will help the Padangtegal Wenara Wana Foundation to fund projects associated with the conservation of of the Sacred Monkey Forest's natural and cultural resources). Contributions can be made at the monkey forest's main office (located at the monkey forest's main entrance).

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