this is the archive for the ‘foooood’ category:

a trip to the market

going to markets and supermarkets has long been one of my favorite activities abroad. they can be a overwhelming at times, but i still enjoy looking at all the produce and finding new things. here’s a quick walk around a market near chiang mai.

rice, rice, rice! glutinous, fragrant, brown… it all has a different purpose.

aaaaaall the veggies! some are funky and some are familiar. i was especially impressed by all the ginger-like roots they seem to use on their cooking, and which i had never seen before. oh! and those little green balls are fresh peppercorns… who knew they looked like that?

curries are what we associate with thai cooking, but making your own curry paste is hard work as we later discovered. so at the market, you can buy them already made or give your specifications to the seller, and they’ll make you a batch.

stinky but delicious fish sauce!

the variety of noodles they sell makes the pasta in a portuguese supermarket pale in comparison.

the fresh section was also well stocked, both with meat (the whole nose-to-tail), fish and frogs! to keep the flies away, ribbons of plastic were attached to the skeletons of fans, and made to spin above the meat. it’s pretty efficient actually, and super hypnotic! :D

so now we got the produce — let’s go cook it!

thai bananas

oh my goodness, the fruit in thailand… maybe it’s the exoticness of it all, but i swear fruit just tastes better in asia. take bananas for instance:

these look smallish, almost like the bananas from madeira, but somehow thicker and squarish. the looks might not be great, it’s the inside that counts, so let’s open it…

… and take a bite…

… whoa. they’re extra smooth, dense and so “banany”! :D i have never met a fruit i didn’t like, but these bananas at the top of the list. i want to go back…

unicorn ice-cream and other delights

i think sampling different ice-cream flavours is one of the requirements of traveling in a hot country. there were lots of them to try in thailand, so of course we had to test them all. for science!

the trio above was a mixed bag. taro is okayish, its squashy/jelly bits are definitely fun to bite into, but i found the flavour a bit underwhelming. durian is… well, durian. “tastes like fruity onions”, said our friend G who complained that he still had the flavour in his mouth hours later! if this had been jackfruit instead, i would have been all over that.

and the unicornetto was a thing of beauty. i had no idea this thing even existed in the world, but what a brilliant stroke of marketing! the boy wasn’t impressed with the flavour, but who cares about that when an ice-cream is (probably) made of unicorns and looks like this?

not pictured in my crap photo: the red wafer and the “strawberry jelly”-like core. it’s like it was made by (for?) teenage girls and i cannot stop looking at it… whoa. :D

moving on, one boring ice-cream on top, and one more exciting “black sticky rice with taro” option below, which was great. they put bits of chewy black rice on it, that popped up as you made your way through the ice-cream. i approve!

my favorite was this corn and coconut milk creation though:

putting coconut in anything is practically a guarantee that i will like it, but i don’t understand why corn is not more commonly used in desserts everywhere. it has three things going for it: nice color for food, naturally sweet (but not too much) and it has a nice bite to it. i vote for more corn! :)

all the pocky!

we ate a bunch of pocky (the coated japanese sticks) while in thailand, so many that by the end of the trip i was starting to get a bit sick of them… but thoroughly schooled on all the different flavours available. there are so many of them!

i think that’s part of what makes it fun, as it feels like there’s always something new to try. plus, they’re bite-sized and coated with just enough sweetness that one stick is sometimes just the right dose. here are some of my favourites:

choco-banana and mango had such irresistibly cute drawings of monkeys and elephants on the package. although… what is the elephant doing on the mango package? :|

the matcha flavoured pocky look a bit more serious, but this was probably my favourite flavour. i don’t think i’ve ever met a matcha-something i didn’t like :D

and the original is always nice. in hindsight, i wish we had discovered “glicode” (glico is the name of the japanese brand that makes pocky) before we had left thailand though — we could have had fun playing with it!

little parcels

the hostel where we stayed in chiang mai had these very intriguing handmade “parcels” of banana leaf, just laying on a basket on the breakfast table… what were they?

curious to find out, we removed the pin, unwrapped two layers of leaves and whoa! nested inside, we discovered a spoonful of sticky rice, with pudding on top! it was great, and just small enough to provide a quick sweet bite.

cool packaging + sweet content is a winner combo in my book. after we discovered what they were, we noticed how quick they flew off the breakfast choices and started to secured ours early in the day. :D