We decided to take a walk to Lumphini Park. I heard rumor we could spot monitor lizards -- prehistoric beasts as big as alligators, but with anteater-like snouts. Even more exciting are the exercises classes that are reportedly as fun to watch as they are to take part. Elderly citizen jazzer-sizing to "It's so easy to fall in love" may be the best solution to a long healthy life. When they can't keep up with the instructor's moves they invent their own, making for an eclectic tableau of movement. But I am now off the subject of sausage.
As we strolled off the main road of Sukhumvit to a canal walkway, I spotted a rack draped in orange necklaces. A man at his coal-grill waved when he noticed my interest in his jewelry. He ran down the embankment to present his offerings. Up close, a spicy scent wafted from the chains. It quickly became clear that the links weren't that of stones but rather of meat. Thai sausages drying by the riverside.
Learn to make your own sausages here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRass831N-g
On every street corner there are large vats of chilled drinks. With the mid-day heat beating down, the magenta liquid beckoned me to it. Upon closer inspection I noticed that suspended in the beverage were little globules that look like pollywog eggs. Of course this was an invitation rather than a deterrent. I ordered a large cup and sipped away at this Thai rendition of bubble tea. I never knew that basil seeds had a gelatinous coating.
In the end the drink was too sweet, but I was glad to have tried the seeds.
At a produce stand sat little baggies of fruit. My encounters with Apples have been in climates where there are four seasons. Apples are the flavor of autumn. But in a land without autumn, I was curious to taste the flavor of a tropical apple. It's as if the tropics were created for the Rose Apple's freshingly mild, rose water taste. A bite into a slice produce a juicy explosion. Despite the heat, my insides felt cool.
Egg Bananas (Gluay Khai) is short with a golden-yellow skin when ripe. This banana is very popular dried, or in a cake or candy.
Custard Apple (น้อยหน่า - nói-nàa) the season begins in April, so I should be able to round up some young uns
Durian (ทุเรียน |tóo rian) - Also referred to as stinky fruit, the flesh is creamy and rich. I tried some in Vietnam and look forward to more, despite it's bad reputation.
Green Guava (ฝรั่ง | fà-ràng) Guava pulp may be sweet or sour, off-white to deep pink, with the seeds in the central pulp of variable number and hardness, again depending on species. The fruit is also often prepared as a dessert. In Asia, fresh raw guava is often dipped in preserved prune powder, salt, or a sugar/chili mixture. Because of the skin’s high level of pectin, boiled guava is also extensively used to make candies, preserves, jellies, jams, marmalades, and also for juices.
Jackfruit (ขนุน | kà-nŏon) Jackfruit is commonly used in South and Southeast Asian cuisines and the taste is similar to chestnuts. The skin of the jackfruit is thick and prickly. The flesh of the jackfruit is starchy and fibrous. The seeds of the fruit are also edible, and contain starches and dietary fibre. They may be prepared by boiling or roasting, or made into a flour.
Longan (ลำไย | lam-yai) The longan (“dragon eyes”) is so named because of the fruit’s resemblance to an eyeball when it is shelled (the black seed shows through the translucent flesh like a pupil/iris). The seed is small, round and hard. In Chinese food therapy and herbal medicine, it is believed to have an effect on relaxation. In contrast with the fresh fruit, which is juicy and white, the flesh of dried longans is dark brown to almost black.
Longkong (ลองกอง | long gong) Longkong fruits are ovoid, roundish orbs around five centimeters in diameter, usually found in clusters of two to thirty fruits. Each round fruit is covered by yellowish, thick, leathery skin. Underneath the skin, the fruit is divided into five or six slices of translucent, juicy flesh.
Lychee (ลิ้นจี่ | lín jêe)
The fruit is a drupe, 3–4 cm long and 3 cm in diameter. The outside is covered by a pink-red, roughly-textured rind that is inedible but easily removed. They are eaten in many different dessert dishes. The inside consists of a layer of sweet, translucent white flesh, rich in vitamin C, with a texture somewhat similar to that of a grape only much less moist.
Mangosteen (มังคุด | mang kóot) The mangosteen is commonly known as “The Queen of fruits” in parts of southeast Asia, notably Singapore and Malaysia. It is believed to have “cooling” properties that counteract the “heatiness” of durians, the so-called “King of fruits”. The fact that the fruiting seasons of these two fruits coincide makes these titles particularly apt. Before ripening, the mangosteen shell is fibrous and firm, but becomes soft and easy to pry open when the fruit ripens.
A trick to try: Count the number of petals on the bottom of the fruit, and then ask your friends, before opening the fruit “How many slices will this mangosteen contain?” – and then give your guess as the number of petals you counted. Your answer will always be correct.
Pomelo (ส้มโอ | sôm-oh) The pomelo tastes like a sweet, mild grapefruit – it has very little or none of the common grapefruit’s bitterness, but the membranes of the segments are bitter and usually discarded. The peel of the pomelo is also used in cooking or candied.
Rambutan (เงาะ | ngór) The leathery skin is reddish (rarely orange or yellow), and covered with fleshy pliable spines, hence the name rambutan, derived from the Malayword rambut which means hairs. The fruit flesh, which is eaten raw, is translucent, whitish or very pale pink, with a sweet, mildly acidic flavor. The taste and texture of the flesh is often compared to Lychee.
Rose Apple (ชมพู่ | chom pôo) Rose Apples are usually eaten fresh. They smell and taste a bit like rose water. They spoil very quickly and should therefore be consumed shortly after picking. Fruit extract can be used to make a sweet smelling rose water.
Sapodilla (ละมุด | lá móot) The fruit is a large ellipsoid berry, 4-8 cm in diameter, very much resembling a smooth-skinned potato and containing 2-5 seeds. Inside, its flesh ranges from a pale yellow to an earthy brown color with a grainy texture akin to that of a well-ripened pear. The seeds are black and resemble beans, with a hook at one end that can catch in the throat if swallowed. The flavor is exceptionally sweet and very tasty, with what can be described as a malty flavor.
Tamarind (มะขาม | má-kăam) Tamarind is very popular in Thailand and can be purchased in markets and from street vendors. The hard green pulp of a young fruit is very sour and acidic, so much it cannot be consumed directly, but is often used as a component of savory dishes. The ripened fruit is edible, as it becomes less sour and somewhat sweeter, but still very acidic. In Thailand, there is a carefully cultivated sweet variety with little to no tartness grown specifically to be eaten as a fresh fruit.
Zalacca (สละ | sà-là) The Zalacca fruit grows in clusters at the base of a palm, and are also known as Snake Fruit due to the reddish-brown scaly skin. They are about the size and shape of a ripe fig, with a distinct tip. The pulp is edible. The fruit can be peeled by pinching the tip which should cause the skin to slough off so it can be pulled away. The fruit inside consists of three lobes, each containing a large inedibleseed. The lobes resemble, and have the consistency of, large peeled garlic cloves. The taste is usually sweet and acidic, but its apple-like texture can vary from very dry and crumbly to moist and crunchy.
Less Exotic Fruits of Thailand (but still worth sampling:
Mango (มะม่วง | má-mûang)
Orange (ส้ม | sôm)
Papaya (มะละกอ | má-lá-gor)
Pinapple (สับปะรด | sàp-bpà-rót)
Star Fruit (มะเฟือง | má-feuang)
Tangerine (ส้มเขียวหวาน |sôm kĭeow wăan)
Watermelon (แตงโม | dtaeng moh)
Young Coconut (มะพร้าว | má-práao)
[many fruit descriptions taken from baanajarn]
After an 18 hour flight from LAX to BKK, I was ready to stretch my legs and begin to explore Bangkok. Disoriented about the date and time, I decided to employ beverage therapy to reset my clock to Thai time. My flight arrived at 7 am and by 9 am I had dropped off my luggage at my sister's Sukhumvit area apartment. I was ready for my breakfast drink. And when in Thailand, what better place to buy any food or drink than on the street. Just steps from the Asok subway, a woman had set up shop selling fresh juice from the Thai tangerine: ส้มเขียวหวาน or sôm kĭeow wăan. The tangy sweetness with a punch of sour was a jolt to my tastebuds. And if tastebuds can take credit for controlling my internal clock, this juice reset mine quite nicely. Welcome to Bangkok and the wonderful street offerings.
Yes, kids. We know. It's been a while. But this delicious new food product was too good to be overlooked. It promises to be an "Excellent Source of Daily Sparkles" and "There's magic in every bite!"
However, we've been told by a trusted source that shards of horn have been found in some tins. So, eat with caution.
Today, cakes around the world stopped spinning in diner cases and on rotating pedestals. One of the best cake blogs out there was featured in the NY Times. They have a whole slide show of excellent cake wrecks. If you haven't yet, take a look at Cake Wrecks.
The Way We Live Now: Doggedly. Are hot dogs the solution to our nation's unemployed ex-con crisis? No, not at all. But it's a thought. Similarly, happy ads won't restore our rotten financial institutions. But they'll make you $$$mile!!!
Fella by the name of James Andrews figured he could help out ex-cons and do himself a favor in the meantime, so he opened up a hot dog joint by the name of "Felony Franks" on the West side of Chicago. Trouble is, the community's not too fond of his prison-themed decor, and Andrews finds himself in a PR pickle. The solution? For James Andrews to somehow morph into something other than a fat white man, which is what he is.