Friday, November 25, 2011

If You Can Peel It, You Can Eat It

Green skinned oranges, apples, star fruit, carrots, tomatoes and pears at a corner produce stall. All can be rinsed and/or peeled

[To address a recent email, let me repeat that I'm not a doctor and I advise you to adjust your behavior level to keep it within your own comfort zone while away from home. For example, you may keep your hands clean but there's no guarantee whatsoever that any food handler does.]

It's the day after Thanksgiving here in the USA, and my system still hasn't fully recovered from the over-abundance of things I ate a bit too much of yesterday.  While lamenting my gluttony I was reminded by a guest  of a story I'd told them of an unfortunate day or so I'd gone through after a large and varied meal at an Isaan BBQ place.  I'll spare you the details here, but it did put things in perspective.

Even in a five-star hotel there's no guarantee that the food won't give you some problems, but if you don't take some educated chances you're going to miss out on a lot while traveling. The trick is to educate yourself in advance a little bit and not take obviously foolish chances, such as using a visibly already well-used cup to drink water from a communal bucket out in a rural area.

In earlier posts about (attempting to) keep your stomach and intestinal systems within some control, stay healthy while in Thailand - and avoid what my friend calls the "rumbly in the tumbly" we've talked about a variety of snacks that are usually OK to chow down on, like corn, ice cream sandwiches, youtiao, street-side omelets and waffles.

Delicious Thai oranges: ripe and sweet, even with a green skin

Here's another tip, albeit one you need to combine it with some common sense: if you can peel it, you can eat it.

Here at home in the USA it's wisest to rinse off any kind of fruit or vegetables before eating them, and that's also true in Thailand - but having potable water to rinse them off with isn't always possible.  Before putting produce away when I get back to my hotel, bed and breakfast or whatever I wash it off as best I can under the tap. Once they've been cleaned I personally feel that grapes, apples, star fruit, mango, papaya and the likes are all reasonably "safe".

Pomegranates, Northeast Thailand

This is another area where using your powers of observation and some common sense can save you dealing with a problem... more often than not!

Bananas: probably the safest produce-type snack of all.

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