Yours Truly Sampling Noodles on Khaosan Road

Me on Khao San Rd., Bangkok [image credit: Austin Bush]

The one and only Austin Bush — he of RealThai and The Old Main Drag fame — snapped this pic of me sampling noodles on Khaosan Road recently. I like the colors and the lighting. Click on the image for a bigger version.

Wine 2.0

Wine 2.0 [not my cartoon]

Snooth “promises to revolutionize the way people choose wine. By combining the company’s proprietary algorithms with the world’s most comprehensive wine database, Snooth is able to accurately identify the wines best-suited to an individual.”

(Site via. Cartoon via.)

Four Seasons Tented Camp

Thailand's Four Seasons Tented Camp [not my image]

Good wine, designer shoes, elephants, and Thailand’s Four Seasons Tented Camp all converge in my new globorati post.

Pet Peek

The Pet Peek [not my image]

Taylor Gifts sells some astounding products. Case in point: the Pet Peek, above, which is designed to “satisfy your pup’s curiosity and help reduce barking, scratching and digging every time he senses something on the other side of the fence.”

I also quite like the Cooler Scoop and the Heated Taco Bar.

Strange Japanese Soft Drinks

Pepsi Ice Cucumber flavor

Check out “The Top Ten Weird and Bizarre Japanese Soft Drinks.”

I would kill for a taste of the Pepsi Ice Cucumber. Not to mention the Coolpis Kimchi Drink.

The Globalization of Sushi

Ballpark Sushi.

Jay McInerney reviews two new books that “attempt to account for the transformation of sushi from a provincial street snack to the international luxury cuisine of the 21st century.”

(Cartoon via.)

Thai Snack Report: Exotic Potato Chip Flavors

I recently spotted some exotic potato chip flavors at my local 7-11. And, being a snackfood aficionado and naturally inquisitive to boot, I had to pick ’em up.

My report follows.

Barbeque Spareribs Flavor Lays Potato Chips

Lays Barbeque Spareribs flavor:

Taste: A hearty blend of seasonings lends this chip a full, spicy flavor. Strong finish with hints of cayenne. Musty aroma. Fleeting aftertaste.

Packaging: The Statue of Liberty suggests this exceedingly bold chip’s rightful association with the American frontier mentality.

Suggested pairing: Chang Beer.

Seafood Mayonaise Flavor Lays Potato Chips

Lays Seafood Mayonnaise flavor:

Taste: Highly-acidic hints of Gulf of Thailand squid, Lao mackerel, and Mekong catfish coupled with an earthy mayonnaise bouquet. Heavy shrimp paste seasoning. Intense and lingering aftertaste.

Packaging: Despite the chips’ arguably over-aggressive seasoning, the Eiffel Tower is a fitting tribute to the product’s roots in a storied Gallic culinary tradition.

Suggested pairing: Sang Som.

Tuna Salad Flavor Tasto Potato Chips

Tasto Tuna Salad flavor potato chips:

Taste: Surprisingly nuanced and delicate. Tuna — perhaps more of the canned than the sashimi variety — intertwined with mild suggestions of tomato and lettuce flavorings. Rustic aroma. Slightly buttery aftertaste.

Packaging: Rather uninspired.

Suggested pairing: Chocolate Milo.

Odorless Durian Radio Story

No Durians

Remember the article about the quest for an odorless durian? Well, NPR’s Michael Sullivan recently did a delightful radio story on the subject.


An Odorless Durian — But at What Cost?

Don’t miss Tom Fuller’s IHT/NYT story about the quest for an odorless durian. My favorite passages:

“To anyone who doesn’t like durian it smells like a bunch of dead cats,” said Bob Halliday, a food writer in based Bangkok. “But as you get to appreciate durian, the smell is not offensive at all. It’s attractive. It makes you drool like a mastiff.”


The litany of legends and myths surrounding what Malaysians call the “king of fruits” is long and colorful. The durian is said to be an aphrodisiac: when the durians fall down, the sarongs fly up, goes a Malay saying.

Not to mention:

Rarely does durian season pass without newspapers somewhere in Southeast Asia reporting a durian death. The fruit, which is rich in carbohydrates, protein, fat and sulfurous compounds (thus the smell), is said here to be “heaty,” and can therefore be deadly for those with high blood pressure, according to Wilailak Srisura, a nutritionist at the Thai Department of Health. Tradition also dictates that mixing alcohol with durian should be avoided at all costs.

And finally:

Many durian lovers fear the nearly odorless variety is just another step toward the erosion of durian culture. Durians are a social fruit, traditionally sold and eaten on the roadside by groups of friends.

(Emphasis mine.)

Note: I snapped the photo above in a hotel lobby in Kuala Lumpur last year. On that same Malaysia trip, with my buddy Matt G., I made the mistake of eating a large quantity of durian — my durian culture initiation rites, if you will — and then I consumed several glasses of beer. You cannot imagine the indigestion. You simply cannot imagine.


Five Mistakes Tourists Make in Bangkok

The fine folks at Jaunted asked me to write a brief post about mistakes that tourists make in Bangkok. Here’s what I said.

Previously, Phil Lees — the author of the excellent blog Phnomenon — wrote about what not to do in Phnom Penh.