When it comes to spice the Thai do not play nice. Each meal I ate was the spiciest meal I has ever eaten. For examples, my last day in Thailand I ate the spiciest meal I have ever eaten.
Pat Krapao Moo Sap (spicy pork and basil salad.) prepared by this women.
By bite three face was beet red, bite five my lips went numb, ten bites in and my nose was running like a Niagara Falls on a rainy day.
I cried. I am not afraid to admit it.
Thailand, your climate is hot. Why the desire to eat pure (though often delicious) fire?
Simple answer, spoilage.
As an animal attempting to eat ancestrally, I consume a good deal of other animals. I make a respectful effort to ensure that is kept fresh and chilly, not wasted. In the tropics heat and humidity make this endeavour more challenging.
Hence the spice.
Chillie, curries, peppers, they all boast impressive antimicrobial properties that protect eaters from rapidly fermenting flesh.
Thus, the more my mouth melts the less food born baddies with burn up my belly. Good news to me as my travellers diet is comprised of 90% street cart food.
Central America, Central Africa, India, and of course Thailand, they all have long histories of hot dishes.
the arguement could be made that modern refrigeration has undone a lot of the need for such spicy measures.
But I’m sitting at my new favorite BBQ stand, watching a chef cut papaya and crack crabs in to a mixing bowl. O, I be grateful for chillie powder.
Helpful Thai phrases:
Lek lek pec kap khon kap = just a little spicy thank you
and for the daring,
Mak mak pec kap khon kap = spice it up
As I sit here, enjoying my drum
stick on a stick, I am not all that surprised as to why these Thai seem so much more healthful and at ease then my American countrymen. Don’t get me wrong, processed food are prolificprolific here, 7-11’s abound and soda is as cheap as water but.
They eat organs every day.
Unless you want to sit down for a full meal, the cheap eater has two common street options.
1) fruit on sticks (banana, papaya, pineapple, pear, a bunch I can not even name
2) meat on sticks (sausage, liver, squid, gizzardsgizzards, pork belly, fish, etc.)
I go to great extents to respect the animals I eat, so eating the less desirables parts appeals to me. Organ meat, offal, the nasty bits, call it what you want. I see it as a tragic forgotten cornerstone of the human diet. I am not alone.
Anadote Time. I did the workout at CrossfitBK yesterday. I was jet lagged and aclimating to a Bangkok climate 1/2 sauna and 1/2 traffic jam.
“What the Hell am I thinking” was all I could tell myself.
Killed it and got the best time of the day. That kettle bell might as well have been full of feathers for how fas it was flying.
That does not happen to me in California, but California I do not eat chicken liver/heart/gizzard for lunch. I do not drink fresh coconuts for breakfast or flag down carts rattling down the alley piled high with roasted sweet potatoes and bananas. In California my post work out meals are not intestine and cuddled blood soup topped with fermented cabbage (did I mention I am not the least bit sore today).
I do eat organ meats ocationally, but that just changed. I am no longer going to be afraid of that lonely pastured pig pancreus, cold and shunned in butcher cooler. They are a quite a lot cheaper than tenderloin anyway.
It is the powders and the supplements that strike me as strange now. Liver pate is my new forte.
No guts, no glory… HA literally.