Tuesday, 17 May 2011

THAILAND: Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is the largest city in Northern Thailand and has a lot to offer culturally and culinary.

There are several markets in the city. There are bazaars, dry and wet markets and then there are the amazing weekend markets (Saturday and Sunday) where the roads in the historical centre are closed to motorised traffic and stalls pop up everywhere instead.

This one here is for meat lovers: pork, pineapple, tomato with a spicy pepper sauce.

And another unusual food on sticks: waffles. They are filled with either banana, pineapple, corn, crab or sausage.

Have you noticed the coloured rice? Blue, green, yellow, pink, orange and black. Little portions are beautifully packaged in a banana leaf. It's a dessert made of back and jasmin rice,condensed milk and caramelised coconut flakes on top.

More presentation in banana leaf: These omletts are flavoured with either mushrooms, crab, shrimp or pork.

And to finish the menu of banana leaf meals this is a mini dessert made of gelatinous rice and flavoured with either banana, melon or pumpkin. Sometimes fruit and vegetable cross the line of how we would usually classify them in sweet or savoury. Green papaya is being used here in a salad, pumpkin cooked in coconutmilk as a dessert or corn and red beans served alongside ice cream with condensed milk. The results are always surprisingly tasty. Who would have thought.

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