Article: An interview with the Lovina bakery in Kalibukbuk Putting up the Christmas tree was a huge part of getting ready for Christmas when I was growing up. My family always cut down a real tree and brought it home. The hardest part of getting the tree ready for Christmas was stringing the lights. Moving to Bali brought a change in the way we celebrate Christmas. A whole range of different trees and plants passed by over the years carrying our brightly colored Christmas decorations as replacements for the pine trees we would use at home.

We used Bamboo, the frangipani in our back yard, the hibiscus on the front porch, and finally we ended buying a plastic one, something we would have sworn never to do when we were younger. Minding fashions in decorating the tree with things like only silver and red, or only gold garlands and silver balls became a thing of the past a long time ago. Here we go by with every color thinkable with varieties in colors between bright pink and mint green. The family lunch with a turkey as big as half the table also became a thing of the past. Not that it would have been completely impossible to buy a turkey, or an ayamBelanda as it is called in Indonesia, but I think my parents must have thought it was not worth the trip to Denpasar and apart from that the heat around that time of the day asked for cooler dishes then a roasted turkey with potatoes.

All the nice sweet treats were dearly missed but often sent to us by caring family members from Europe. This however changed when ten years ago theLovina Bakery opened its doors in Kalibukbuk. All of a sudden Christmas cakes, rolls and cookies became part of our live again. And the assortment kept growing over the years. As a big fan of everything for sale in a bakery I was asked to pay a visit to the Lovina bakery and watch their December festivities preparations. I come in on a busy morning, it’s early and the smell of freshly baked bread is in the air. Upstairs in the bakery it is a busy coming and going of people carrying mouthwatering trays of pastry and bread rolls. Clearly there is serious work done here. To my question, how they prepare for Christmas,KetutBudiartini, the baker says:” We are right in the middle of the Christmas preparations so it’s hectic around here these days. There are many things to bake these days. There are the regular favorites like the Christmas stollen, ginger bread, Christmas cookies and rolls. The first years we worked a lot through orders coming in but now we have a better idea what our customers are looking for.

Since ur customers include people from many countries we sell typical northern European things, like the ‘stollen’ as well as things that would be more a tradition in other countries like the ginger bread, many countries have their own traditional things. If people want specific things they can come and explain their wishes, we do not have everything on hand, but yes the selection did grow over the years and people also embrace new traditions, like you with your Christmas tree. Always popular are cakes. People have them with a coffee or as a festive desert. And the stollen is typical for the Germany and The Netherlands. It is in between bread and pastry. It is eaten with a bit of butter. It is special fluffy dough with dried fruits and grains and a touch of almond paste. It is sprinkled with powdered sugar resembling snow, like many Christmas cakes and cookies have.

It is funny how these traditions in decorating stay on, although we will most likely never have a white Christmas here on Bali, she laughs. As for the ingredients of our products we import many things from Germany. We do this because Germany holds high standards on quality control for food. It is the best we can get and it makes the difference in the taste. Besides the fine choice of excellent pastry, roles, cakes and cookies we also offer afine choice of wines and champagnes.” We go home knowing everything is going to be all right again this Christmas, thanks to Lovina Bakery.

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