Nada Brahma Foundation

Nat Bletter

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DR. NAT BLETTER has 10 years of experience in botany, documenting exotic fruits and vegetables, gathering food in the wild, herbal and traditional medicine, and exploring Asia, South America, Central America, and Africa. He has a Ph.D. in Ethnobotany from the City University of New York and New York Botanical Garden, where he researched medicinal plants of Peru, Mali, and the Guatemalan Mayans, ethnobotany, taste-modifying plants, and stimulant plants such as cacao. Nat has co-written a book chapter "Cacao and its relatives in South America: An overview of taxonomy, ecology, biogeography, chemistry, and ethnobotany" in the book Chocolate in Mesoamerica: A Cultural History of Cacao, which was just given the Society of Economic Botany Klinger award for best ethnobotany book of the year. He has spent many months exploring the landscape, music, fruits, food and medicine of Bali and Southeast Asia since 1994. Since his initial trips to Bali, Nat has played in the renowned Balinese orchestra Gamelan Sekar Jaya and the University of Hawai'i Javanese and Balinese Gamelan Ensemble, turned all his friends on to Balinese cooking and ingredients, and studied the chemistry and medicinal benefits of many Southeast Asian plants. He currently researches the food and medicinal plants of Southeast Asia and how they are moved around the world. He first saw cacao in the wild in Bali, though not native to the area, and tasted the delectable cacao pulp that started him on his current obsession with chocolate, leading him to cofound the traditional chocolate company Madre Chocolate. It is this, the art, the food, the music, the rice fields and many other things that made Nat fall in love with Bali and want to share and explore this wonderful place with everyone.

For more information about our Bali Tours, please contact us at

Read more about Southeast Asian food and ethnobotany on
Click here to read a recent article in The Villager about Nat and foraging in New York City
Nat explaining the ethnobotany of the plant Mugwort in Central Park, NYC

Nat foraging New York City parks and then cooking a delicious meal