Tuesday, February 9, 2010

All in a Day's Culinary Offerings:

All of Trang Town is getting ready for the Chinese New Year celebration this weekend. Lots of red decorations and Chinese lanterns have been strung up and down the main streets and folks are preparing special foods like this Chinese New Year Treat.

One of the teachers gave me this traditional sweet. It is a kind of paste or pudding steamed in a banana leaf "cup." The contents harden after the mixture is cooked. You can then choose to eat it right away or wait for it to keep hardening so you can slice it, flour it and fry it in oil. Haven't tried it any which way yet. Will let it harden, I think, because I already ate enough unusual things today and my taste buds need a break.

Another offering was rose apple and what I was told was guava but didn't look or taste like guava I've had in Hawaii. The rose apple doesn't taste like an apple, either, but it is crunchy and sweet-tart. The rose apple is also called a "nose apple" because slices of it stood on end do resemble a Jimmy Durante-type nose.

Yet another offering was thin slices of sour mango dipped in dried shrimp paste. Sour mango bears little taste resemblance to sweet mango. The mangoes are tiny, green and hard. They are also in season right now. So I have tasted them dipped in salt or in a combo of salt, sugar and flame-hot spices. No matter what you dip them in, they remain so sour as to seem almost inedible. But Thais love them and will eat an astonishing amount in one sitting--all the while making faces and exclaiming over how sour they are!

There was no way I could avoid eating some today, and the teachers were delighted when I, too, made a face and exclaimed over how sour they were. After that, plus the fruit we ate, I couldn't eat lunch.

Slices of rose (or nose) apple and "guava."

Sour mango waiting to be sliced. These are only a couple of inches or so in size.


  1. Ooh, and how is the tummy taking all this sour tasting fruit? What wonderful foods you have had a chance to try!

    Do the Thai people feed the dragon for good luck in the new year? Happy New Year!

  2. how HAS ur tummy been handling all this? any trouble?

  3. Tummy is doing okay. I am blessed in that regard!