Monday, August 27, 2007

What do you people eat!?

The other week at lunch time, a group of co-workers and I shared a couple plates of mangosteens. Two of these co-workers are long term residents of Thailand, but neither of them had even had a mangosteen before. (Note: Mangosteens are perhaps my favorite fruit in Thailand. Durian might take the cake if I felt it counted; it's not really very fruity now is it?) This left me wondering just what the hell foreign residents of Thailand actually eat on a day to day basis. I gave a quick lesson on how you open a mangosteen. I told them the price for a kilo, 20 Baht, and they were well impressed. I left lunch kind of befuddled by the while episode but reminded that even with an abundance of great and cheap food available on every street corner, many never take advantage for whatever reason. Recently my father, who is currently visiting from Oregon with my mother, tried his first mangosteen and declared it the best fruit he had ever tasted. After introducing my parents to as many thai fruits, snacks, desserts, and dishes, I declared that they had in fact tried more Thai food than many expats I know.


Kaela said...

Well, I wonder... at first I was indignant: all of those people you described have all this new , interesting food to try... but then I began to think that maybe being adventurous socially and territorially doesn't necessarily translate into being adventurous gastronomically. I know it doesn't go the other way all the time: I'm very timid socially, but I'll eat anything. Perhaps all those people that have taken on another culture may still want to eat their traditional foods. You know, like Taco Bell. :)

Anonymous said...

The 'abundance of great and cheap food available on every street corner' is one of the main reasons I love Thailand so much. I can't imagine going back to NYC mostly because of the food situation. I've gotten very spoiled.

I'm with your Dad on this one -- mangosteens are great. They're probably my favorite. I also love the mangoes here and Lumyai. There are also fruits which I'd eaten back home which taste SO much better here (banana, watermelon, pineapple, oranges, etc).

For sweets I love kanom krok. There's a vendor in the basement of Central Rama 3 who makes it really good. Get it without a bag so it stays crispy.

I'm so interested in Thai food (it was the original reason I started coming here as a tourist) that I devote a lot of my free time to learning to cook. My gf and I been documenting our results on our website ( Well, the good results anyway.

So, not all farang here are uninterested in the food! :)

Watergirl said...

I guess your dad is where you got your adventurous food palate from? :)
I must say that your mangosteen picture looks like it was cut cleanly across the top. Recently, I came home with 5 kilos of mangosteen from the southern part of the country, and just gorged on each sweet morsel for days. Not much finess it breaking open each one, but glorious happiness for those days anyway.