March 24, 2010 § 1 Comment
I’m afraid to admit that one of my resolutions for the new year was to try my hand at some Thai cooking – in fact, I think I resolved to “get really into” it. This was a resolution because Thai is one of the favorite cuisines around this little household. I’m afraid to admit it because January, and February, and very nearly all of March passed by without me so much as making an attempt.
We certainly ate a lot of Thai food in that time! We have a friend (who we refer to as Cephas though that is not his name, but I will not attempt to explain) who grew up in Thailand, and he has been kind enough to start taking us to Thai restaurants and guiding us boldly through their menus. Jiminy Crickets! do you ever get a different experience at a Thai restaurant when someone who speaks the language is with you! Cultural solidarity comes out strongly, as does a sense of being invited to the inside, a special (non-physical) reserved dining room of sorts. You get offered an entirely different menu (which the rest of us can’t even come close to making out!). You are told in no uncertain terms by the proprietors which ones are the special dishes that you have to try, no excuses taken. I think if you can prove a certain level of familiarity with Thai culture, the wait staff and chef take it on faith that you will accept a certain number of more esoteric ingredients as totally normal, even gourmet, rather than weird. This is how we wound up eating such things as “horse piss eggs” (we definitely didn’t ask) and stinky beans. They were quite good! I mean, all thing considered, I come from a culture that invented lutefisk and an inedible substance know literally as “old cheese”, I should be open to virtually anything. « Read the rest of this entry »