Monday, August 03, 2009

The Strange Tastes of Thailand

One of the exciting things about living in a new culture is the chance to sample never-before-imagined combinations of food and flavors. Now, here's a popular yoghurt from the 7-11 convenience store here in Thakhonyang village. It's made by a Thai-Japanese company (CP-Meiji), but tailored for the Thai palate.

The flavors tossed into the yoghurt? Corn, red beans, and lotus seeds. Don't knock it (or gag) 'til you've tried it!

Reminds me of my first week teaching in Thailand.

I noticed that the college's canteen had a little ice-cream kiosk, and I hadn't sampled it yet. Picturing a little sundae dish piled high with vanilla ice cream (and maybe a spurt of chocolate syrup with nuts sprinkled on top) I used my fledgling Thai to place my order.

"Ow ice cream krahp!"

My eyes widened as the vendor-lady pulled out a hot dog bun. Yes, a hot dog bun. Then loaded two scoops of semi-hard vanilla ice-cream into it, and sprinkled the whole affair with cooked corn kernels and a few peanuts!

Well, couldn't complain, it only cost me 10 baht (30 cents) and all of the components appeared edible. Never to waste a penny or a baht, I tried it. Not bad! Not my first choice, either.

Photo from

That same year, I was part of a review panel for hiring a new vocational college president in a nearby province. We were served lunch midway through the day, and for the drinks they served what looked and tasted exactly like warm canned creamed corn (but just a little soupier).

What is it with the CORN?


Anonymous said...

WHAT A bad.bad thing to do to ice cream JD.

JD said...

It's an...ahem..."acquired taste."