When traveling abroad, I try to get immersed in the local life, because in my opinion only a true local touch can give you the right, pristine experience of the region. One of the best ways of »tasting« a local culture is by trying out the local food. At The Gangsa private villa we experienced Bali’s culinary delights in the nicest way possible – by a Balinese cooking class. Their chef accompanied us to the traditional market, where we selected the ingredients we later used to prepare the following dishes: Balinese paste (which can be used as a base or be added to many different dishes), Be Pasih Mesanten (braised fish in coconut cream and fish sauce flavoured with lemon basil), Sate Lilit Be Siap (Balinese chicken satay with spices), Urab Bali salad and the Pisang Rai (banana sweet cake with grated coconut and palm sugar). I was fascinated by the fish and sea food selection at the Jimbaran market (and the colourful fishing boats named jukung), as well as the intriguing mixes of spices and herbs, that really enhance the flavour and add a distinct taste. The cooking class was held in our private villa outdoor kitchen, where the chef taught us some Indonesian cooking through hands-on instruction. The flavourful, but a bit spicy and relatively complex dishes made me realize, we are not only in the Island of Gods, but also in the »Island of Good Food«. We will definitely try to re-create some of these meals back at home and hopefully, they will taste as good as these did.
»Food one of the best windows into the local culture.«