Tuesday, March 08, 2016
Thailand Food Adventure
at 12:00 PM
As far as international foods go, there is certainly some that are more preferred by the Thai people. American, Japanese, and some European foods are all over the place. The European foods seem to be French, British, and some Mediterranean foods, but there are a few others as well. You also find a lot of Chinese foods in parts of Thailand, but I'm assuming that's because there are also many Chinese tourists in this area. The surprising thing is the number of Japanese and American restaurants in this country. Some are restaurants that you don't normally see around, like MOS Burger and Japanese Curry houses from Japan, and Swenson’s ice cream from the US. There are also many Japanese convenience stores in Thailand as well including 7-11 (Japanese style) and Family Mart.
I'm not sure if durian is actually popular amongst the locals, or if it's some kind of silly tourist scam. You find many durian stands all over tourist areas, but you don't really see locals lining up to eat the stuff. If you've never tried durian before, the taste is smooth and creamy, but the smell is like an old sweat sock filled with rotting onions. The smell is also fairly potent, so strong that the airport has warnings about not allowing you to bring durians onto the airplanes. So these stalls all over town must be selling to someone, either Thai people that somehow have built a tolerance for this very smelly fruit, or tourists that try it as a dare.
One of the unique things I noticed about eating in Thailand is the choice of utensils. You might assume that since it's an East Asian country, chopsticks would be the tools of choice, but that's not really true. Chopsticks are around, but the eating tools of choice are forks and spoons, but not in the way you might be using them yourself. In North American you generally use a fork to stab some foods, and a spoon to eat liquids. In Thailand however they have a really unique way of eating their food. They use a fork to collect the food onto the spoons. Once the spoon is loaded up with a nice balance of all of the elements from the plate, you're left with a nice organized perfect bite of everything on your spoon. You enjoy that perfect bite, and then start to collect the food with your fork to make another.
It seems like a strange way to eat, but it really makes for a very pleasant meal. Each bite is a perfect balance of all of the flavours that you enjoy from your plate. It's delicate, intricate, and really improves the way you eat. It does slow things down a bit, but it's really worth it. I may start eating like this more often myself at home.
I think if you're a foodie person Thailand has a lot to offer you. I also think if you're a picky eater there's plenty of simple western cooking available as well. You may have to walk by a stall with squids hanging on a bar, or watch a person eat a deep fried fish head, but there's certainly something for the weak stomached and the food adventurer.