When we lived in Indonesia, a “Weekend Away” meant a short plane ride to Bali, probably the most beautiful of Indonesia’s 17,000 or so islands.
Bali has it all: rainforests, beaches, active volcanos, temples, scenic rice paddies, gracious and friendly people, and food. Especially food. Especially pork.
Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim country. As you may know, Muslims will not eat pork because it is considered unclean. Truth is, pigs will eat ANYTHING. Think about it. They’ll eat the excreta of other animals, as well as their own. You can see why several religions instruct their believers to avoid pork.
Islam never reached Bali, though. Balinese, for the most part, practice their own form of Hinduism.
Balinese Hinduism is an amalgam in which gods and demigods are worshipped together with Buddhist heroes, the spirits of ancestors, indigenous agricultural deities and sacred places. Religion as it is practiced in Bali is a composite belief system that embraces not only theology, philosophy, and mythology, but ancestor worship, animism and magic. It pervades nearly every aspect of traditional life.
This mixture of beliefs means that pigs are OK to eat, so long as they’re cooked well. At least that’s MY interpretation. And the Balinese know how to cook a pig! A paste of mixed spices is spread under the skin of the animal and all over the inside of the carcass. The mixture includes plenty of chopped, fresh garlic and chilis. Then, the pig is mounted on a spit and turned for hours over hot coals until the meat is done and the skin is crispy, crispy, crispy. Mmmmmmmm. Pork. Pork rules!
Warmer weather is just around the corner. I’m thinking BARBEQUE and I’m thinking PORK. If you’re having similar thoughts, head on over to El Rancho Supermercado in the new shopping center at the corner of Cockrell Hill Road and Jefferson Avenue.
The pigs are in the back of the store. So is the charcoal. How convenient!
You can buy the head separately. It’s grinning at you from the lower, right corner of the case. We’ll pass on that. Not enough skin!
It’s about time we introduced Balinese-style pork to Dallas.