Today was our fourth day in Thailand, and the first few days were full of exciting new experiences. One of my favorite parts of the trip so far has been the food. Trying new Thai dishes is one of the things that I was the most excited for before leaving for this trip. The food has been different than I expected, but I am enjoying it a lot. Yesterday we had the chance to learn more about how Thai food is prepared at a Thai cooking school.
We began the day by going to a market to learn about how people purchase food in Thailand. We learned that Thai people generally go to the market each day to get fresh ingredients for the meals that they will prepare that day. I found this interesting, because it is very different from how people go grocery shopping in the United States. We saw how milk is extracted from coconuts. This was interesting because coconut milk is a huge part of Thai cooking. We had the chance to explore the market, and learn about how different types of food are selected and used for Thai cooking.
After the market, we went to the cooking school where we prepared four dishes: a soup, a papaya salad, a noodle dish, and sticky rice with mango. It was all fun to prepare and delicious to eat. One of the things that stood out to me the most during this experience was how fresh the food was. One of the owners of the cooking school mentioned that some of the ingredients come right out of her backyard. After learning that Thai people generally pick up fresh food each day, I was not surprised by how fresh the food that we cooked tasted. I have enjoyed this aspect of Thai food a lot.
On the other hand, I have also noticed a lot of fried food. We’ve had fried bananas, fried rice, fried dough, etc… Don’t get me wrong – the fried food is delicious too, but it’s very different from the fresh food that we prepared at the cooking school. Over all, I am enjoying the dishes that we are trying here whether they are coming out of someone’s garden or out of a deep fryer.