Bali: Food

Gingy with a glass of fresh pineapple juice. We drank so much in Bali that I'm surprised we didn't cause an island-wide shortage.

Let’s talk about food today, shall we? Specifically, what we ate in Bali. Because we ate like no one’s business and it was glorious.

(Side note: If you’re getting tired of the Bali posts, I was planning on sharing a few more this week, then being done with it.)

To start with, we ate breakfast at home every day. The cottage we rented came with a nicely-stocked kitchen, including lots of fresh fruits, a huge canister of Balinese coffee, cream for the aforementioned coffee, pineapple juice, bread, and eggs.

Throughout the week, more fresh fruit would appear. And by fresh, I mean actually picked from a nearby tree.

Banana trees about 100 feet from our house.

Papayas in the field next to the bananas.

We ate a lot of fruit in Bali.

Salak, a.k.a. snake skin fruit. A little larger than a plum. Inside, the fruit is firm, like an apple, and not overly sweet.

Dragon fruit. About the size of a grapefruit. Inside, the texture is reminiscent of kiwifruit. Very mild flavor.


Mangosteen. About the size of a plum. Inside, the texture was juicy and soft like a plum. The flavor was slightly citrusy and not too sweet. By far, my favorite fruit.

The one fruit we did NOT eat was durian. In theory, we were game, but when confronted with the revolting, noxious, fetid, putrid, malodorous reality, we just couldn’t do it. And I say that as someone who once had two children in diapers at the same time.

Durian displayed at a market. Even just walking by it was a gag-inducing experience.

25 kilogram (approximately 55 pounds) bags of rice in the grocery store.

Moving on, rice is a major part of eating in Bali. The cottage we rented came with a large rice cooker and an even larger bin of rice.

At home, we eat brown, black, or wild rice, but in Bali, we shrugged and then dug in. Because we figured that since 3.5 billion people around the world depend on rice for much of their sustenance, then we Americans could certainly do the same.

If rice isn’t part of a meal, then ramen is. Yes, the same ramen we all ate in college, but with fresh vegetables and seasonings. One of the girls’ favorite dishes was soto ayam, which was ramen in broth with some chicken, vegetables, and seasonings (usually a little spicy).

For lunches, we usually ate at a warung, which is a small, local, very casual cafe. The food was always very good and quite inexpensive. A typical meal would be rice (or ramen), some vegetables, and either chicken or fish. The fish was probably swimming only the day before and the chickens, well, the chickens in Bali are very, very free range:


Why did the chicken cross the road? To try to escape being your lunch today.

Some of our favorite meals took place at simple warungs on a beach. It’s kind of hard not to be happy with while eating barefoot and looking at this view:

While we ate lunch one day, a coed group of elementary and middle school aged soccer players jogged by.

For dinners, sometimes we went out and sometimes we cooked in. Consequently, we visited several grocery stores and got a sense of the local food culture. In short, the produce sections were large, the dairy sections were small, the meat sections were far less visually sanitized than in the U.S., and there was plenty of Western junk food for anyone who was so inclined.

Generally, my policy on vacations is to try new foods and enjoy them, but also not gorge to the point that I feel sick. In short, I don’t worry about how my jeans fit, but I also don’t lose my head and wind up, for example,  dazed in a gutter covered with a pile of German chocolate wrappers.

For this trip, the same policy applied, although I did drink a lot of fruit juice, which is not something I normally do. We walked, but not a lot. Certainly not as much as we have on previous trips. Still, by the end of the week, my trousers were loose on me and my suspicions were confirmed when I got home and stepped on the scales.  I’d say that Balinese food agreed with me.

So that’s the food report.


Yes, Gingy went with us to Bali. He’s actually Gingy 2.0, as the original Gingy went with us to California last year and then decided to relocate there permanently. We’re pretty sure he’s in San Francisco.

Anyway, for the first time, Gingy shared his adventures on Instagram. (There’s one other #travelinggingy in there that’s not us, which will become obvious when you see it.) He had a great trip and is already planning his future adventures.

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9 Responses to Bali: Food

  1. Julie says:

    I laugh…relocated to SF. Yep, I would have suspected the same if my dashboard Disney Princess was missing as well…but alas, she reigns supreme there still. I feel fortunate to have met the Original GingyTM…. :)

  2. the "other" Alison in Ottawa says:

    I’m loving the Bali posts, please keep them coming!

  3. bdaiss says:

    I desperately wish I could sample some of those fruits. But alas, SD is not the mecca of fruit options. I’m still dazzled at the repeated resemblances (in look) to garlic. Glad it tasted better! I too think I’d pass on durian. Unless someone had already peeled it and put it in a recipe where the smell wasn’t overwhelming. :D

    Watching Gingy travel the world was quite fun. And no, not sick of your posts yet. I’m impatiently waiting for the epic ending story.

  4. Smalltown Me says:

    I love Gingy in his sarong.

  5. Tiffany says:

    Loving the Bali posts so far and looking forward to more.

  6. Gingy is looking quite awesome in that photograph (2.0… I’m glad you replaced 1.0 and that it wasn’t your heart that was left in SanFran).
    Ramen with fresh veggies sounds delicious, and so do many of those fruit choices. Mmmm… fresh pineapple juice!

  7. Patience says:

    I like the Bali posts!

  8. erin says:

    These Bali posts are great! Most of those fruits sound tasty, same for the rice and ramen dishes. Will you check (or have you already) your local grocery stores to see if you can get some of those fruits like the dragon fruit or mangosteen? Or perhaps you can replace Tex-Mex Thursday with Balinese Thursday? Although it really doesn’t have the same ring to it…

  9. Barbara Hutchinson says:

    Did you see any Bali beads being created?

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