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Farm to Table in Bali

One of the best ways to learn about the authentic cuisine of a country is by taking a cooking class with a native. At Paon Bali in Bali, Indonesia, they offer one-day classes that are fun and educational.

Run by husband-wife duo, the cooking school is at the home of Wayan and Puspa located at Laplapan Village, a few minutes outside central Ubud. Puspa worked at hotels and resorts for over a decade before she started offering lessons at her home. Wayan also quit his day job and joined his entrepreneurial wife in the business. He now picks and drops off the students, give tours of the markets and rice fields, and grills satay!

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The tour begins at Ubud Market where Wayan takes you through the fresh produce markets where the locals shop. The market opens at 5am when Balinese people buy their groceries for the day. They generally cook their meal in the morning and eat the same dishes for all three meals. Most Balinese households do not have refrigerators so shopping and cooking fresh everyday is not by choice, but a necessity.

At the market, you can see all kinds of vegetables, strange looking fruits, meat hanging by the hooks and every kind of kitchen equipment you may need in your humble kitchen. Typical ingredients you would need for most Balinese preperations are – sweet basil, galangal (type of ginger), lemongrass, red chili. Green beans, eggplants, bitter gourds, water spinach, jackfruit are locally grown vegetables. Tofu and tempeh are also very popular. For meat, chicken, duck and pork are readily available. Since most Balinese are Hindus, beef is only available at some restaurants. Of course, no Balinese meal is complete without rice.

There are even fresh flowers and palm leaves for sale, since the Balinese people pay offerings at multiple temples each day.

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Can you name some of these fruits?

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Sucheta Rawal

Sucheta is an award winning food and travel writer, who has traveled to 80+ countries across 6 continents. She is also the founder and editor of 'Go Eat Give' and author of 'Beato Goes To' series of children's books on travel.

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