People, living in the Tropics, don’t sweat so much. So they hardly take liquids. Water – aqua – is drunk the whole day through. In tiny sips, because it is very expensive: nineteen liter cost one third of a daily wage. Why the container doesn’t hold twenty liter, we will never know.. Most people boil tap water or spring-water for ten minutes. But that needs a lot of fuel. I once attended a party at Han Snel, the painter, who lived here already for over fifty years and knew the whole Dutch speaking crowd of yore. One of his guests was a Chinese Indonesian, who told a story about the Grand Canyon. How he had flown over it in a private plane. And more of those costly stories. I asked him what sort of business he had, because he only flew First Class and stayed in the most expensive hotels. “Traveling “ he answered, “ I have traveled all my life”. “But where did you get all that money? “, I asked “I’ll tell you “, he said cheerfully. “My father owned a weekend cottage in Mengwi, half an hour outside Denpasar, in the hills. It is nice and cool over there. Once they were digging on the land and, all of a sudden, water squirted from the ground and it never stopped. Carefully they took a sip and it tasted delicious. They took a sample to have it tested in the laboratory and it turned out to be first class mineral water. My father then built a factory over it. And that is my story : I have never had to work again, because that well still spouts..”
Tea in a bottle
Indonesia is the only country on earth, where they put tea in a bottle, with a lot of sugar, of course.
It tastes good when cold, but they do not chill it. Just stick in a straw – stro – and sip. At every party, it is available, but is slowly being replaced by coca cola… While traveling in the Tropics, it is basically the only safe drink one can take. In Sri Lanka or India, for instance, one often can see, under a shed a big kettle, on a fire, and for a few coins some tealeaves are thrown in the water, then a lot of sugar added and you have your tea. You drink by sipping it through the slits between your teeth.. Tea, made from a tea-bag, is seldom drunk. But they produce it and a lot of it. The tea bushes ( Camellia sinensis) are related to the well known Camellia flowers. They grow in West Java at a height of over 1000 meter, in an area with heavy rainfall.
Because they don’t drink so much
and are all day nibbling food, they created a drink, that one can eat : A kind of thick cocktail, consisting of gelatin – agar-agar-, made from sea-weed, coconut milk – santen –, brown sugar – gula jawa –, rice pudding – tepung beras – , banana mash – kolak pisang – and crushed ice cubes – es batu -. It is sold like Italian ice cream: You point out which ingredient you like and that is put in a plastic bag, with a straw – stro – or you can eat it from a plate. What a feast…
The recipe: put all ingredients in a pan, stir it well , so there is no flour left at the bottom.
Cook this concoction, while stirring,
on a medium high fire until it becomes a transparent pulp. When transparent, take it off the fire. Now it is done. Then, spoon by spoon, press this through a cendol sieve. When done, let the cendol leak out through a strainer and pour it in a bowl. Basic ingredients : 1 cup of hunkue ( flour,made from green peas – kacang idjo -), 4 cups of cold water, ¼ cup of sugar, ¼ teaspoon of salt, ¼ of pandan essence
The Magic Draught The Jamu
If you want to jack-up your potency or you have an ailment, or just because you like the taste, you buy a jamu drink. This is made of herbs and there is one for every ailment. On Java it is quite an industry. Every sales woman has her own secret concoctions. We know two: Jamu kunir consists of kunir – turmeric-, gula jawa – palm sugar and asam – tamarind -, mixed in aqua – drinking water -. Jamu kencur is made from kencur – a kind of ginseng root -, beras – rice – and gula putih – canesugar-.
Coffee is very expensive and one drinks – maybe – only two cups a day. Tea a bit more often. When a bricklayer discusses the wage for a job, often coffee and a cigarette will be included. That shows how expensive these are. On the plateau between the two volcanoes, Batur and Batukaro, grows the world famous Balinese coffee. Much is still roasted at home, like at Grandmother‛s home, nearby us. One spoonful of delicious smelling coffee, put in a cup of hot water and enjoy it… Kopi Tubruk. Be aware what you buy, because not seldom the beans could be mixed with roasted maize.. In 1890 Mrs.Versteegh-Kloppenburg wrote this : Coffee, made with cold water, is not as harmful as coffee, made with hot water. Those, who suffer from a heart ailment, or have abdomen-, nervous-, liver-, or gallbladder problems, should not drink coffee. Likewise those, who have a splenetic constitution or suffer from insomnia. Drunk in the morning, coffee stimulates. When taken at night, sleep will not come. If you want to drink your coffee in the morning, it should simmer the whole night. Roasted coffee beans are good disinfectants. It is scattered over a corpse. And to keep plants free from insects, one sprinkles some coffee-grounds on the soil in the pot.
In early times they drink coffee from the coffee leaves, because the bens where far to expensive…………
ARAK is he only strong alcoholic drink. Arak is, from origin, an Arab word, meaning; Water of Life. In Bali , sap from the lontar palm is boiled. This ferments and becomes tuak, which is distilled to form arak. On Java one uses the molasses from the sugarcane. A dram is called a slokkie. Only old men drink it, at ceremonies. One slokkie and off they go.
Another drink is brem, a rice wine with 3 percent alcohol. It has to be consumed immediately after production, because when a drink contains less then ten percent of alcohol , it will turn into vinegar.
While vines usually require a dormant period of cooler months, the vines in tropical Bali produce grapes continuously in 120 day cycles. This makes it the ideal weather for the type of grapes grown; the local Propolingo Biru, Alphonse-Lavalle and Belgia which comes from the Muscat family.
North East of Bali has long been a grape growing, owing to the abundance of sunshine, clear mountain water and rich volcanic soil found in the area. Growing grapes in Bali has started at the beginning of the 20th Century but it is only a few decades ago, after multiple trials and errors, survival to parasites and other vine diseases, that the grapes were grown with satisfaction on a commercial scale and found in markets all over the archipelago. The final choice was a black table grape variety of French origin called ‘Alphonse Lavallée’ or ‘Alfonso’ among the growers. The vines are trained into an overhead trellis called Pergola, where the posts consist of small trees, which are regularly pruned. Besides keeping the workers cool, this system reduces the risk of diseases and sunburn on the grapes, all contributing to a better fruit quality. The daily task of seeing the grapes protected from the elements is a full time operation and workers often live in houses built amongst the pergolas to take constant care in case of rain. The crops have a surprisingly high quality and the grapes brought to the winery are certainly ranked as the best of the best.
It is important to note that the tropical climate makes for the unique character of the winemaking in Bali, grapes are constantly harvested from evergreen vines and wine can be produced all year long instead of once a year.
Born in the Netherlands on 23-04-1940 and passed away in Bali on 25-05-2015. Farelli was the pseudonym of a remarkable man who was infused with an obsessive desire to create things that did not yet exist. Born in the Netherlands in 1940 Dolf Versteegh left his home country in 1990 in order to start a new life on the Island of Bali. Without any formal education he reinvented himself as an architect, as a designer of furniture, as a sculptor and as a writer.
As a teenager Dolf spent only three years in High School but he kept studying history and the natural world all his life and during his last 25 years on Bali he revealed himself not only as versatile artist but also as a formidable scholar of biology.
Farelli was a prolific creator of web content and what he has left behind will remain standing as a great monument to his creative spirit, his ingenuity and his never-ending search for knowledge.