Tips for the table: Balinese style.

Tips for the table: Balinese style.

Balinese food and eating etiquette is quite distinct as it is closely linked with our culture, art and religion. Here are some of our traditions.

When you visit someone’s compound typically the owner will greet you by offering food. No matter the time of day, you are expected to sit down and eat what they offer.

We don’t have any set times meal times here, which means we are free to eat when we are hungry.

Balinese are forbidden to eat beef because we be­lieve that cows are holy. If we eat them it is considered cruel: as if we are eating our own mother.

When we eat meat we offer our thanks by giving of­ferings. We do this after we cook them and before we eat. We give the offerings to the Gods that we believe in, hoping that the animals that we eat will be receiv­ing a good place somewhere…

Food is a piece of art in Bali—from the process of mak­ing, the presentation and the way of eating, especial­lythe traditional Balinese food such as lawar, sate lilit, pesan or tum. These foods are very simple yet compli­cated to make and there is an art to it.

Balinese eat with our right hand.

In many family compounds the female will rise at 5:00 a.m. and prepare food for the day.

Food that we prepare and consume in ceremonies is very different than day-to-day food.

Traditional Balinese food does not have MSG, though much street food now does, and is often still added in many homes. The rich flavor comes from such lo­cal spices such as chili, shallot, garlic, ginger, turmeric, kencur, and bay leaf.

We don’t drink much alcohol in Bali on a daily basis. Arak and tuak are consumed sometimes after certain ceremonies. ,


Kadek Lastrini was born and raised in Bali, and is proud of it.

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