Eating and drinking in Bali

By John Reality, Cambodia, December 2011

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Bali is an affordable and rewarding destination, especially for travelers already in the hemisphere. The beaches and recreational activities are world famous, but its cuisine is far less well known. However, the food and drink of this island destination are as memorable as any scuba diving excursion. The following should help get you started.

1). Flavorful fowl. Bebek betutu, or “darkened duck", is a delicious dish topped with an herb paste that is roasted in banana leaves over charcoal. Ayam panggang bumbu bawang mentah (grilled chicken with sliced shallots, chilies and lime) is also popular, as are ayam panggang bumbu merah (grilled chicken with chili and shrimp sauce), and ayam tutu (steamed chicken cooked with herbs and spices).
2). Savory salads. The term “lawar” covers a wide variety of Balinese salads, containing diced veggies, meat, coconut and regional spices. Green beans and chicken are often included. Traditionally, blood is used as a seasoning, but these days it is typically left out. 

Image courtesy of Annie Mole via Flickr.
3). Sumptuous seafood. Snapper, white fish, and shrimp paste are typically mixed in any number of combinations with hot spices and fern tips to mouth-watering effect.
4). Local libations. Bintang, the popular local beer, is virtually everywhere, as is Bali Hai, a much poorer lager that is best avoided. White, red, and rosé varieties of locally produced wine are easily obtainable, with the latter being the best option.

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