Monday, January 19, 2009

A Walk Through a Thai Market

One of the joys of being in a developing country is the genuine local flavor of nearly everything, except in the bigger cities, of course. You just don’t have the big imports or the presence of large, multinational businesses, unless you want it. In developing countries, you have to go find the homogenous corporation instead of it finding you. Here’s to authenticity!

A local market, where freshness and friendliness abound, can be just the place to connect: Connect with the people, connect with the fruit, literally, of the land, connect in a convivial way with the country you are exploring. Many people already know this about France and other European corners where “fresh” and “in season” are the highest complements, but the same is true in Thailand.

So we take a walk through a Thai market: All four food groups are represented (even though judging by a quick Google search, the “four basic food groups” is so 1975): Fruits and vegetables in abundance, meats of all kinds both trustworthy and frightening (to the foreigner), rice, and even some dairy seen in the stacks and stacks of eggs.

These neighborhood markets are found throughout Thailand and SE Asia, quite often the equivalent of a local grocery store, especially in rural villages.

More of a pictoral blog entry this week than a textual, I hope you enjoyed our walk and can get to your own local farmer’s market soon.

Pictures above:
1. Most markets are outdoors, but this one in Chiang Mai is large and in-charge indoors.
2. One of the more dazzling-looking fruits found in Thailand, but usually these types of fruits are all show, and the go just isn't very tasty. I'll stick to my peaches and cherries in season, thanks.
3. These are frogs with their hearts ripped out to prove freshness. Anything for freshness!
4. A typical outdoor market scene, this one found in the Southern Thailand area of Nakhon Si Thammarat.
5. Duriane, the most famous of unique Southeast Asian fruits, is known for smelling really, really bad and tasting okay. The smelling bad part I can confirm...