20 June 2009

Street vendor fruit, photo essay one

If you're a regular reader of this blog, you already know that I adore Thailand's street vendors. And, with so many different kinds of food to sell, it only makes sense that each of their carts is outfitted to do a particular job. Some carts are set up for grilling satay, others for making and serving home made ice creams. The cart here is detailed with the purpose of selling freshly cut fruits. Each fruit is presented in an enclosed glass container, with room for ice to drain off (keeping the fruit cool, but not water logged!).

We've enjoyed so many of Thailand's unusual fruits. And, since so many of them are native to this area of the world and too fragile to be exported commercially, I wanted to spend a couple of postings celebrating our culinary discoveries here. So, please enjoy a few of our unusual finds and if you have the opportunity to try them for yourself... don't let it pass you by. 

Wah, about the size of a large black olive, with a pit in the middle, this fruit is dark purple in color. The skin is thin and a bit bitter. The flesh inside is a bright violet color and is somewhat sour and bitter. Many of the fruits sold from the vendors come with a little packet of chili sugar (see below for a recipe). And, it should be noted that I'm not entirely certain of the spelling of this fruit's name!

Fruit at left: Sala. Looking somewhat like a giant strawberry, the sala fruit should be taken seriously. Harmless looking thorns are sharp and embed in your fingers easily (trust me, I know from plenty of personal experience!). Strongly scented and extremely sweet, the sala fruit is white inside (the red, prickly skin is removed before eating) and has a large pit. Absolutely delicious!

Cooking in Thailand, entry no. 56:
Chili spiked sweet salt
A popular condiment provided by almost every vendor selling fresh fruits. The vendor cuts the fruit open, packages it and provides you with a little sachet of the sweet and spicy salt to sprinkle on the fruit. Serve in a small dish, accompanying any fruit of your choice (see picture of wah fruit above!).

1 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of salt
1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Combine all of the ingredients and store in an airtight container for up to four months.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! I'm excited to have a recipe for this salty, spicy salt that I enjoyed in Chiang Mai. Thanks!


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