Like any cuisine, Thai food can be fresh and delicious or rancid, soggy, or otherwise inedibly gross. Thai food has a wonderful reputation around the world – and I’m not trying to spoil that! – I’m only reporting on the cold, hard truth: I’ve had some experiences with Thai food that have been not so awesome.
Weird pieces of chicken happen a lot. You really have to be careful with this one when you’re choosing a street food vendor. My friend, Nick, has a theory that one should only patronize vendors and outdoor street food “restaurants” that provide fans to keep their customers cool. He believes the fans are indicative of a certain level of respect and appreciation for customers. I don’t know about this theory, but I do know a surefire way to avoid weird pieces of chicken: order veg!
That time I ate pig-skin salad by accident was awesome until I realized what it was, then it was not so awesome. I was still a newbie Bangkokian and unfamiliar with the street food offerings of this fine city. I saw the vendor preparing what looked to be something fresh and salad-y (Oooo I love salads!) so I went for it. I thought the rubbery strips of pig skin were a weird onion or gourd vegetable. A Google search mid-meal enlightened me to the truth and the rest of my yam nang moo went in the garbage can. It’s not that the salad tasted bad, because it didn’t – it’s just that I’m not so into eating the skin of mammals. It’s thick and fleshy and has little indentations like people skin would. Give me bird skin but please no pig skin.
I’ve been told fish balls are an acquired taste. I don’t think I will ever acquire their taste because I, admittedly, have never tried them. There’s something about the texture that weirds me out…And from second-hand reports, I’ve heard I’m not so crazy for judging the proverbial book by it’s firm and slimy…erm…cover. Why I can dig gefilte fish I do not know, but it probably has something to do with growing up with it. Just one of those things I guess.
The school food in Thailand is exactly what you would expect of the quality of school food in America. I used to avoid it altogether but then I got really into eating salty cabbage soup for breakfast so I started partaking in the canteen’s daily offerings. Anyways, anything will taste at least bearable if you make it spicy enough, right??
For more on Thai food, check out stuff that’s awesome!