Food as a souvenir or a present? No that is not possible with all the restrictions of traveling, the quarantine regulations and the weight food has.......so why am I always buying food to take home? Because it depends what one buys. OK, last time from the Greek Islands I had 6 bottles of wine in the suitcase and boy, was that heavy. But there are other souvenirs one can bring and there is no problems with either transport or quarantine.
I found here on Bali some really stunning goods I got and just want to tell everybody how nice they are. Firstly I think with shopping it is like with eating, the eye eats as well! So packaging is important for me and I think it is one of the reasons I got them. Now what is it? Is is sea salt, local pepper corns and palm sugar......so now, what is so special with these products? At first they were just really appealing to my eye, then I of course liked the product and after I bought them, I looked at their website and was just dazzled by the way everything is grown and harvested. It is in true "Slow Food" style, all organic and with an emphasis on sustainable. All the packaging is made of recycled paper and they make sure the local farmers are involved and make a living out of it. The companies name????? Of course there I am talking about this wonderful product and I am not telling anybody who makes it.....Big Tree Farm, Ubud, Bali.
Then I saw that the products are actually online available and in quite a few places in the US. OK, that takes maybe a bit of the "souvenir" status away, but otherwise it is still the same product. Then again, in the rest of the world it is not really available.
I always love it when I find a new product which I think is hip and modern, just to find out how green and sustainable it is. I feel very strongly in supporting producers like this because I think it needs a lot of enthusiasm to start organic farming and selling locally grown and harvested products. I am very fond of the "Slow Food" movement and when I find something in that direction I always try to support it as much as I can.
What do I use it for? Often just for garnish, a lovely red snapper grilled and then just a pinch of the sea salt on it before serving, or having the actual container on the table with a little spoon for serving. I use the sugar simply as a substitute, but must say that it is especially nice on fresh strawberries with whipped cream. Such a simple dish but like this the flavour of the palm sugar really comes out beautifully. The pepper I use for a typical steak au poivre, then garnished with the lovely Balinese Long Pepper. It is not as peppery as the normal pepper and of course looks great as well in a glass pepper mill.
What else did I buy? Coffee from Java, one of the famous regions renowned for making top quality coffee. That one I bought mainly because a good family friend at home is an absolute coffee lover and now after he has retired he bought himself a coffee roasting machine and started selling freshly roasted coffee in Cape Town. There are of course plenty of brands one can buy, so just for the convenient sake I bought a bit of the same brand we got for the ship, Caswell's so I just hope the coffee is nice, lol!
Then of course I had to get a little bit of Chocolate. Again, Java is well known for its top quality cocoa beans. The chocolate is made by a Belgian Chocolatier in Yogyakarta and has either Cashew nuts or Ginger in it. Especially the ginger chocolate is fantastic, the bitterness of dark chocolate combined with the spicyness of the ginger, beautiful. The company's name is Cokelat Monggo.
I am now since good 10 days on the ship and.......my suitcase is getting already full.....and I still have a long way to go before going back home!