Sweet Curry in Thailand | Food and Beverage Today
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International Flavor
Sweet Curry
Sweet curry is anything but sweet, and now it's one of Jacks favorites

“Sweet curry” turns out to be anything but -- it is actually quite hot, yet it turns out to be my favorite dish. “The curry is a family recipe dating back generations,“ the young man handling the orders tells me. A rich coconut milk-based sauce redolent of cumin, coriander, Thai bird chilies, mint and hints of the proposed “sweet” by way of palm sugar is amazing. The total bill for this feast of six dishes, two beers and two waters? Two dollars! Really, only two dollars. I hand him an extra dollar and he thanks me graciously. At these prices you almost can’t afford not to come to Thailand.

sweet curry, satays grilled pork belly

Seeing some commotion across the street, I grab my changs and decide to check it out. As I approach the center of the action, I am vaguely aware that I am the only non-local here. Thais are bartering back and forth over what, from this short distance, looks like chilies. I am soon enveloped in the mix and as they notice me, the locals suddenly stop talking and just stare, somehow waiting for me to do something. I regard them, then look down to what created all the excitement. Insects!

Even though I had previously stated that I would eat them, I was not yet prepared for their being sold here. I must have made an audible gasping noise because everyone around me erupted in laughter. Not one to back down, I ask for and receive a small handful of fried ants. Silence again ensues. After a brief pause, I pop a few in my mouth and grin: they are delicious!

sweet curry, satays, grilled pork belly

Redolent of chilies, lemongrass and ginger, I can see what the excitement is about. Smiles break out all around and people start patting me on the back. I have an instant rapport with them and I settle in to sample more. Other tourists pass by, look at me, scope out the bugs, then look back at me with undisguised disgust, turn up their noses and walk on. I disregard the disdained looks; turn back to my new friends and smile.

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