Eating local Thai-style

One of my favorite parts about travelling is experiencing international cuisine to the fullest so I decided eating local Thai-style would be part of my experience. ┬áThai cuisine has been especially of interest to me because of how unconventional and even odd it can be. The last time I went backpacking (to India) I was a vegetarian, which unfortunately hindered the expansion of my palate. This time however, I left home with the intent of experimenting as much as my stomach could handle. Some people might consider what I have eaten out-right disgusting, but it is important to remember this all comes down to perception. Some people might consider raw fish wrapped in seaweed just plain strange, even though sushi is adored by many Vancouverites. The Asian philosophy of eating is “if it sustains the body, eat it” and I have come to appreciate this form of non-discriminatory way of eating.
My first experience with “strange food” was within 24 hours of my arrival in Bangkok. After spending my evening bar hopping, market hopping and watching a Thai band attempting to cover “Roxanne” by the Police, I came across a street stand selling fried insects. My first instinct was to go for the least offensive looking one, which ended up being: the grasshopper. After a few moments of convincing and contemplation, I ate it and was pleasantly surprised to find them absolutely delicious. In fact, I have been on a constant search for the fried grasshopper since my first encounter with them. These guys are what I can only assume deep fried, and sprayed with soy sauce. The body of the insect is light and crunchy while the head is surprisingly juicy, and filled with an amazing flavor. All I can say is that they are addictive as chips and unfortunately the only place I will be able to find them in Canada, is at the pet store.
The next type of insect I attempted was the bamboo worm. These are fried, crunchy, and give off a salty, nutty after taste. Overall they were nice, and I am glad I tried them but the after taste put me off a bit.
The next worm I tried, the silkworm, were a whole other chapter in the taste spectrum. Firstly, it didn’t help how creepy these worms looked, or the fact that they were soft when they looked crunchy. The texture was paste like (comparable to liver pate) and the flavor was very similar to young raw almonds. If you completely forget the fact that they are worms, they are actually quite nice. I know that many readers may already be gagging but you would be surprised to know that insects are probably one of the healthiest sources of protein. Some are made up of over 70% protein (beef is about 20-25%), lower in fat, calories and high in nutrients. On top of that they are completely sustainable not to mention cheap and abundant, which is why they are so prominent in places like northern Thailand.
Next on the list was a choice between ant eggs or bee eggs served in a an omelette form that is wrapped in a banana leaf. For ethical reasons I chose the ant eggs and honestly it tasted like a regular omelette with random bits of crunchiness and a flavor I can’t quite describe.
While in the North of Thailand, I was lucky enough to try the “Northern style noodle soup” which is made of pigs blood that comes in a tofu-like form. At first, its kind of weird, but I swear this dish really grows on you. Other weird eats that are part of eating local Thai-style include chicken hearts and various organs served BBQ style on a stick; which you can purchase most places for about 0.33 cents a piece. I personally do not find these strange, but I can see how some might!
That’s all for now, but I will be in Cambodia in a few months and god knows what I will eat there!

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About Aleks

After being raised on my traditional ancestral whole foods diet; I adopted a western diet and consequently adopted digestive issues. After learning about this amazing connection; I was opened up to the incredible world of healing plants. In order to heal my own body I experimented with every imaginable diet out there; omnivore, vegan, raw, paleo, macrobiotic, you name it, I've probably tried it. Unfortunately none of these diets worked, the only thing that worked was intuitively listening to my body and taking in what works right for me. I had always been a passionate foodie, but it wasn't until graduating for the Institute of Holistic Nutrition that I could efficiently integrate my love for food with my passion for healing. I am a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, and my own journey of self healing has encouraged me to help others find their own path to wellness. I believe that we are each unique on a bio-chemical level and require an individualistic diet for each of our needs. Our bodies are constantly speaking to us, and my job is to help you listen; and find that mind-body connection that brings us a wealth of wellness.

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