Categories
Journalism Thailand

New Yorker cartoon featuring ‘underwater’ Thai food

This week’s Mother’s Day themed New Yorker magazine cover, which you may have already seen, is remarkable.

But I also found another element of the issue to be notable — for a reason that should come as no surprise given my previous posts about stateside reminders of Thailand.

So: What happens when you combine the often inscrutable New Yorker cartoon aesthetic with a parody of exclusive New York City ethnic dining?

You get this:

2013 05 08 new yorker thai food cartoon

Get it?

One thing, if you’ll forgive my pedantry: Even allowing for the cartoon’s cryptic nature, we all know that except for eating some soups, chopsticks aren’t typically used in Thailand. Forks and spoons are the norm.

But let’s not let that stand in the way of the jokeā€¦

Categories
Thailand

Is Thai Street Food Increasingly Expensive Despite Lower Commodity Prices?

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The Bangkok Post says so.

According to a story in today’s paper, the prices of commodities like meat and eggs has actually been falling over the last year, and fuel prices are now lower or slightly higher than they were this time last year.

But vendors, anticipating Thailand’s coming minimum wage increase, have been increasing their prices.

The Post reports:

People across the country are being squeezed in the economic vice of rising inflation and stagnant incomes.

Just one year ago, a simple dish of khao kaeng (rice with one side dish) was 25 baht, but today some street vendors, shop-house stalls or food courts are selling it at 40 baht.

According to the latest Abac poll, almost 64% of people say they are more concerned with what to eat than with any political conflicts that might result from charter amendments.

My experience is that dishes in my neighborhood have not, in fact, been increasing in price drastically. However, I have noticed a slight decline in the quality and quantity of dishes.

(For the record: In the chart above, when you figure that $1 is about 30 Thai baht, we’re still talking about dishes that are, by Western standards, quite cheap.)

(All emphasis mine.)

Post story via Terry Fredrickson.

(Image: Bangkok Post.)

Categories
Bangkok Thailand

Austin Bush talks about Bangkok street food

2011 04 27 thai street food

In Jake Warga’s recent radio piece on “PRI’s The World,” Austin Bush discusses Thai street food. Worth a listen.

(Image: Jake Warga/”PRI’s The World.“)

Categories
Thailand

Are the best new Thai chefs farang?

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That’s the provocative title of an upcoming event at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand (FCCT) that I look forward to attending. It’s on Mon., Dec. 13 at 8 p.m. here in Bangkok.

The announcement on the FCCT site helps put the issues — which I’ve mentioned before — into perspective:

You have only to ask a Frenchman for his thoughts on English cooking to realize that all over the world matters culinary provide an outstanding excuse for chauvinistic excess. Hotels and restaurants in Thailand are full of Thai chefs and cooks who produce wonderful and completely authentic Western fare every day — and nobody gives the matter a second thought. Local newspapers, magazines and books feature recipes and cooking tips for Thais who might want to roast the perfect leg of lamb, bake a black forest gateau, turn out a pizza or simmer a bouillabaisse. Yet when the occasional daring farang turns his or her ladle to a tom yam kung, or does something different with a green curry, a surprising number of Thais are left in slack- jawed astonishment. Their horror only deepens when more broadminded compatriots praise the results and laud some of the innovations. This culinary cross-pollination is more than a debate about carrots in the som tam or dairy milk in the soup. To read some recent comments about mischievous farangs in the Thai kitchen, a heresy is being uncovered that could threaten the end of Thai civilization as we know it. Could a plot be afoot here that is even more threatening than a nuclear-empowered Myanmar? Fortunately, the FCCT is no stranger to controversy, and only too pleased to release some steam from the kitchen. The club welcomes without reservation all great cooks and gourmets, including for this special programme.

(Cartoon via.)

Categories
Misc.

Where to eat in Bangkok, by Austin Bush

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Visitors who are new to Thailand and have culinary questions about the Thai capital should check out “Where to eat in Bangkok 2010,” a new post by Austin Bush.

I can tell you from personal experience that Austin has a great deal of knowledge about Thai cuisine, and he has a good feel for what interests food-focused travelers. ((Readers may recall a recent eating expedition I undertook with Austin, in which we sampled Cameroonian food in Bangkok.))

Austin recommends that visitors first try Thai cuisine in shopping mall food courts (don’t knock ’em until you’ve tried ’em), then move on to an upscale Thai restaurant. Then he recommends visiting some Thai food neighborhoods before finally graduating to street food.

The post includes annotated Google Maps for more info on individual restaurants and neighborhoods.

(Image credit: a pic of yours truly, snapped by Austin himself.)