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Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Allergies and delicacies

I recently had dinner with friends who teach in the Department of Technology at Mahasarakham University. As often happens when ordering food the subject turns to my allergies. A food technologist pointed out that grasshoppers and crickets contain the same allergens as crabs and prawns. So it looks like I've got to give up eating them now.

Actually I've only eaten one cricket. I did that in Laos. I wasn't all that impressed as the strongest flavour seemed to be that of the oil it was cooked in. Someone once gave me a large fried ant to try and the strongest flavour of that was the salt. I don't think I'll mind giving up grasshoppers and crickets.

But my friends were quite impressed that this farang had actually eaten such local delicacies. 'Have you eaten frog?' they asked.

'No but I would try it.'

No sooner said and a frog dish was ordered on my behalf. Once again I was not that impressed. They insisted that it tasted like chicken but if you didn't tell me what it was and asked me what I thought, I would have said fish. I suspect it had been deep fried in the same oil as they use for fish and the batter had taken on the flavour. In fact there was more batter than meat.

The conversation went on. 'Have you eaten lat?'

'No, I have not eaten rat and I don't intend to.'

If you'd like to see pictures of more delicacies enjoyed by Isaan people, follow the Wild things link on the sidebar.

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