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The Other Side of Thai Food

Michael Babcock, March 31st, 2009

When you think of Thai food, no doubt a plethora of delicious dishes come to mind. Pad Thai. Green Curry. Tamarind Prawns. Shrimp Cakes. However, there is a whole other side to Thai food that you come across while traveling in Thailand. Often it’s the result of adapting Western foods into a Thai context: this can lead to food that you probably wouldn’t eat on a bet. I say bring on the fried insects – one of the last things I would ever choose to eat in Thailand would be wieners with cheese in a crust, such as that found at a Bangkok mall. Thank you very much! There are a lot of other good dishes to eat.

Wieners in a Blanket

Wieners in a Blanket in Thailand

Thai Cake Store

Gateaux ("Cake") House

(Click on an image to see a larger version.)

Thai Donuts

Donuts in Thailand

Each year, even in the open-air markets, I see more Western foods for sale, particularly the sweet stuff. Decorated cakes seem especially popular – the picture to the right was also taken at a shopping mall in Bangkok. There’s even a chain restaurant, S&P, that is known for their Western-style cakes.

If what I see in the markets is any indication, Thai people do have a sweet tooth. These brightly colored donuts are from an open air market in Bangkok. I’ve also seen donuts on a stick. 

Two or three years ago, a Thai friend took us out to dinner and then, as a treat, took us to a trendy dessert place. The main attraction there was big, puffy, white bread that was toasted, cut into chunks, and served with a cloyingly-sweet syrup; most of the syrups were brightly colored, much like the donuts in the picture here. 

Cute Faces and Wieners

Cute Faces & Wieners

I get a bit of a chuckle out of what I think of as “cute food.” The best example I’ve seen was at a park in Krabi – it was little cute faces on a stick along with wieners. I’m guessing it was some kind of fish paste; I confess I did not have the desire to actually try it.


Written by Michael Babcock, March 2009.

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5 Responses to “The Other Side of Thai Food”

  1. […] If you’re concerned or interested, check out the Taubes article above as well as The Great Salt Myth, by Paul Rosch, M.D. One thing to keep in mind is that most table salt and the salt in processed foods is not natural salt: it is the chemical sodium chloride. In its natural form salt contains all kinds of minerals and other elements. Sodium needs many of those minerals and elements to be utilized effectively by the body. The information in this blog is for educational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult a qualified and educated healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation or if they have any questions regarding a medical condition or treatment plan. Reading the information on this website does not create a physician-patient relationship. Check out Michael’s blog on The Other Side of Thai Food. […]

  2. […] or area with street food has a stall with food on a stick for sale. Our very first Blog entry, The Other Side of Thai Food, included a picture of wieners and little kitty faces on a […]

  3. HerbDish dot com says:

    It’s true that Thai people has got western influences but somehow they still consume Thai food with herbs that can prevent many majority diseases. Usually Thai dishes include herbs as ingredient so we can assume that Thai dishes are the alternative medical care.

  4. rbenson says:

    Hello MIchael and Kasma. I like the traditional Thai dishes. The dishes in the blog do not seem to be
    real. Rodney Benson.

    • Michael Babcock says:

      Well, I photographed ’em all in Thailand. Some time I may blog on all the western influences on Thai cuisine, mostly very much not for the better. (Unless you like wieners in a blanket.)

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