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A Taste of Bali

From the Bookshelf - Balinese Food: The Traditional Cuisine and Food Culture of Bali

(2/22/2014) Dr. Vivienne Kruger Ph.D has emerged on a growing list of champions of Balinese cuisine with the publication of Balinese Food: The Traditional Cuisine and Food Culture of Bali (Tuttle Publishing, 2014).

Now accepted as a singular contender among the world’s leading cuisines, the unique traditions of the Balinese Paon (kitchen) are steeped in divine rituals, exactitude and religious perfectionism.

Like music, dance and art and all things demanding care, attention and skill on this Island – food in Bali represents, on one level, an offering to the Gods. Carefully prepared and beautifully presented, either on the dining table or as a sacred offering, the artistic essence is then pledged to the Gods leaving the profane remains to be enjoyed and savored by the community.

Vivienne Kruger’s long connection to Bali, her love of Balinese food and academic eye for detail has resulted in a book that breaks new ground in its study of Balinese culture, the Island's delicious food and the accompanying ancient traditional cooking methods.

Balinese Food: The Traditional Cuisine and Food Culture of Bali shares the largely unexplored secrets of Bali’s cuisine, kitchen architecture, cooking equipment and culinary mindset of the people of Bali.

Those visiting Bali interested in exploring its exotic dishes should venture out from the major hotels to dine at the small local warungs where the Balinese eat, small local restaurants or one of the ubiquitous night markets.

More than just a cook book readers of Balinese Food: The Traditional Cuisine and Food Culture of Bali can do an armchair culinary tour of Bali visiting iconic warungs famous for babi guling (roasted suckling pig); seaside venues famous for traditionally spice seafood; find out where the best bebek betutu (roasted duck) is served; and read about uniquely Balinese fare based on fern tips, banana trunks and fried dragonflies.

Originally from New York City, Dr. Vivienne Kruger academic studies focused on American history from Columbia University. For the past two decades Kruger has enjoyed a firm Bali connection. On her adopted island she has worked as a  special research consultant for E Entertainment Television’s “Wild On Bali” (1998-1999) and written for “Bali and Beyond Magazine” (1999-2004). For a period (2006-2008) she wrote a monthly food column for the Bali Advertiser focusing on Balinese culture and food. During her Bali residency she established an international export business promoting Balinese products.

Balinese Food: The Traditional Cuisine and Food Culture of Bali by Dr. Vivienne Kruger (Tuttle Publishing, 2014) is available from leading local bookstores in Bali or on-line from Amazon.com.