I wanted to tell about the two grossest things that I have eaten in Thailand.
For my first entry, I say, frog organ. Now, I had never eaten a frog before I came to Thailand. I was extremely excited to get a chance to eat some garlic fried frog. When the chopped pieces of fried frog came out on a plate, it was huge. I wondered where you could get such a large frog. My question was answered when we went to our favorite supermarket. About a hundred slain water frogs were laid out on ice. That makes sense. Where do you get your chicken? The supermarket. Where do you get your frog? The supermarket. Okay. If you come to Thailand, and you wish, I will buy you a frog and cook it for you. The frog meat was chewy, flavorless and ‘bouncy’. At the end, I had to go for the piece I had been avoiding the entire time. It was oddly shaped, having two lobes that were connected in the middle. It looked like kidneys, but reason explains that it was actually liver. I ate it.
I’ve never eaten anything so absolutely bitter.
And that’s saying a lot, coming from an amateur gardener and an experimenting forager whose favorite food is wild lettuce and dandelion. If you know, you know… The bitterness was easy to wash away, but the memory was not.
The frog would be one of my favorite experiences in Thailand, but the frog organ was a whole other caliber of experience.
That was my first worst food in Thailand.
If you’ve heard of the infamous durian, the report that reached your ears probably wasn’t a good one. Durian is a large, spiny fruit that grows from the base of trees here in Asia. Reportedly the best fruit in the world, it’s supposed to taste like honey, or ice cream. But that is only if you can get around the smell. It’s even banned in hotels, because it smells so egregiously—with the duress of a huge fine! The malodorous vapors that rise from the fruit make it unpalatable, and for some, completely inedible. My mother bought my brother some durian cookies, since we haven’t been able to find any of the fruit fresh and we definitely wanted to try it.
Even from the outside of the package, it stank. And it wasn’t like the stink of manure, or even the lovable odor of a skunk. No, this was far worse. It smelt of half-rotten garlic, poisonous olives, and flaccid onions, all stewing in rancid oil. You know in the books, when the protagonist can smell the bad guy’s breath. Yeah, that bad guy was eating durian.
My bruv ate the first cookie. The entire kitchen smelt like death, emanating from him.
I followed soon after, never one to miss an experience, with my own cookie. Sure, it doesn’t taste bad, it only smells bad, but that doesn’t help when the stench rises from your mouth and throat and pervades your olfactory cells.
I had to go and brush my teeth, but I was still an acid breathing menace for a while afterward.
I knew packaged food in Thailand could be pretty bizarre, including squid flavored chips, cuttlefish crackers, dried anchovies and peanuts, and seaweed Pringles, but the durian cookie was another level of strange—plummeting over the line into just foul.
Anyway, I wanted to share those two experiences in this newsletter. Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed reading about it as much as I did eating those two foods. And yes, I did enjoy eating both of those.