February 12, 2013 03:21:49
Posted By Gecko
Whilst you may confront fresh turmeric root or sauted insects here for the first time, you can also clearly see exactly what you are purchasing...which in turn may often shock you.
Most Thai markets are laid out in a more or less ordered way, with different sections focusing on specific items: fresh herbs, spices and vegatables; colourful stalls of seasonal fruit; wriggling bowls of live fish and seafood; Thai condiments and sauces, and stalls selling beef, pork, chicken and duck. The latter often seem to affront the senses of many visitors, who are used to purchasing either refrigerated, film-wrapped polystyrene packages of butchered meat, or vibrantly packaged cardboard boxes of ready-made meals. Many are not accustomed to seeing wooden chopping blocks and cleavers lying next to pigs' heads, intestines, uterus, offal and more - or a leg of cow strung by the hairy hoof, dangling above a bundle of tripe and bags of blood and bile.
It is perhaps not unusual that in a country with a hot climate, and a people obsessed with food, that freshness is considered paramount. Thus fish are bought whilst still alive, and in the small farming villages so too are duck, chicken and more.
Perhaps the European scandal over the discovery of horse meat in dishes purportedly containing beef will help to encourage a greater interest both in food provenance in general, and in home cooking rooted in fresh ingredients.