After an amazing trip around Thailand, it seems unfair to keep the never-ending culinary pleasures all to myself.
From the lovely green tropical island of Koh Samui in the South, to Bangkok, the heart of the country in every sense of the word, and Chiang Mai which was once capital of the Lanna Kingdom in the North, every inch of Thailand is covered with food.
(Warning: if you are hungry or allergic to vibrant colours, please stay away from the following images)
One can easily understand Thai people’s obsession about food, and the vast diversity within the Thai cuisine itself. There is an abundant supply of top quality fresh ingredients on every street corner, giving flavour to the simplest dishes.
As one would expect, fruit is widely available in shops, roadside shacks, and even from the back of make-shift lorries.
One would rarely find frozen pizza shoved in the microwave or any other processed food in a Thai home kitchen. Wet market is always within easy reach, and therefore no excuse to settle for anything less than real food.
Nothing can replace the sheer joy you feel walking around a living and working market. The smell, the colours, the noise and all the activities simply inspire one to think of the many ways you can serve the fresh produce straight from the local farms on a plate. The Thais are so lucky to be truly buying and eating local.
As the availability of local produce heavily influences Thai cuisine, you will find that dishes often incorporate coconut milk/cream in the Southern/Central parts of the country, where coconuts can be found in abundance, while the Northern dishes usually comes in clear broth or with a sharper taste due to the generous amount of spices and herbs used.
To add the distinctively Thai flavour to fresh ingredients, you will also find various types of spices, herbs, sauces and pastes in the market. The heady aroma just adds to the experience of getting utterly lost in this foodie maze.
And lastly, the heart of all Asian cuisine, rice. Served with any dish and it always tastes great.
We are blessed in most parts of Asia to have great wet markets, and with all this fun who wants to go back to grocery shopping in characterless supermarkets? Even better, there is a surge of farmers markets around town recently, and I am especially excited for Island East Markets that’s launching this Autumn by my dear friends Vince and Janice.
Learn from the best eaters in this part of the world. Support your farmers. Buy local, eat organic.
P.S. Please don’t get too jealous for the posts to follow, mostly on what I have eaten/cooked around the Amazing Thailand. Stay tuned.