A LITTLE FOOD FLIGHT READING
THEBaliCookbook by Lonny Gerungan, photographs by Warren Bright (Kyle Cathie/ Simon & Schuster, $34.95) is a fiesta of retro colours, with pages of teale blue, burnt orange, lime and hot pink interspersed with white. Frangipani, hibiscus and banana leaf or panels of Balinese fabric decorate the pages. The effect is to highlight the vibrancy of the dishes.
In a foreword, the author says his book ‘‘ paints a picture of the daily life of the Balinese’’; a second foreword is by the Governor of Bali, who sees Gerungan as an ambassador (he has made TV programs in The Netherlands and authored other books). Gerungan refers to the food’s religious connections and says recipes have not traditionally been recorded on paper and are in danger of being lost. These fragrant, authentic dishes — spicy fish in banana leaves, marinated chicken, satays, salads and sauces — must be preserved. And with its pictures, introduction to each dish and the recipes, this book encapsulates Bali’s culture. Judith Elen