Friday, June 22, 2012
Kanom Dok - A Crispy Street Treat
The Thai people don't eat like many of us do in the West. Yes, buffets exist; but they're more of a way of sampling different dishes and not an opportunity to stuff ourselves as if we're being bred for the production of pate. It's a gift, really.
They tend to eat when they're hungry, and decline the opportunity when they're not. They're much more likely to snack a bit here and there throughout the day. My friend calls it "grazing," and it certainly seems to fit. The whole idea of "Super-sizing" is an idea that's been foisted on some folks, and again - I don't believe we're doing them any favors.
Even something as light as a bag of the delicate, fried pastry-type cookies above, sold in small bags of perhaps three to six, isn't a portion - although it would be a single serving for most of us. Kanom Dok is made from cassava (tapioca) flour, rice flour, coconut water, white and black sesame seeds, sugar, lime water (made from red lime paste), egg yolk and salt, for the most part. The pink color comes from the red lime paste.
The scent of these delightful treats greeted us as we strolled slowly along the narrow streets of Old Chantaburi on my last visit. I thought the aroma was drifting out of the open corner restaurant, but my friend pointed to the tiny cart in front of the shop a couple of doors down, and I took a quick detour to watch the woman there cooking a few before tasting the sample she held out for me; fresh from the fryer. It was magnificent, and I bought a half-dozen to take along with us.
Heading back to the restaurant where we ended up stopping for lunch I resisted eating the bagful. I offered them to my friend, who first said he'd wait for lunch, but then gave in and had one. One.
The "Old City" section of Chantaburi is something I'll post about next week.