Bangkok has everything you could imagine to offer in the way of food (and some you probably could not imagine) --- you can sample everything from the famous street food (hawker food) from roadside stalls, or dine in supreme elegance and style at five star hotel restaurants specialising in everything from Korean to Lebanese cuisine.
Whatever style of food you desire, you are sure to find it in Bangkok. The city has plenty of every style of eatery, from Irish Pubs offering a full cooked breakfast and fish and chips to roadside hawkers offering the finest dried squid or fried cockroach you will find anywhere.
Thai food is famous for evoking all four senses of taste at the same time, sweet, sour, bitter and salty. This is achieved by using indigenous herbs and spices many of which are extremely pungent, spicy and strong to the unassuming western palette.
Even if you visit a standard chain of fast food stores, like KFC, it is wise when ordering your food to specify either spicy or non-spicy. Those who they are accustomed to ‘hot’ dishes from home may be surprised at the extreme spiciness of authentic Thai food.
There have been many health scares in Western countries concerning the ‘right amount’ of chilli to ingest. In some countries it has been linked to limited IQ of the children, and in others, to the early onset of various cancers of the alimentary canal ranging from stomach cancer to rectal cancer.
Other scientists swear by the antimicrobial properties of spicy food. It really is a matter of personal choice, and all alternatives are available to you in Bangkok. For your convenience, many Bangkok restaurants offer delivery to your room. So if you have a craving for a steaming cheese crust pizza loaded with meat and cheese, there is sure to be an outlet near you ready to satisfy your every whim.
Thai food in the local market
Going back to street food for a moment, by now you probably have so many “do’s and don’ts” about Bangkok, one tip not to forget is to try the street food, but be selective. One very under-rated fast food is fried locust or grass-hopper.
Most of the decent street vendors will cook them to order for you, showing you the live bugs before cooking them (usually in smoking hot palm oil).
If you do not wish to partake of this rural treat, then imagine the taste of potato crisps. Then you almost have the flavour of these tasty little fellows.
Another street food delicacy is water beetles. These bugs dissolve in your mouth and give a flavour reminiscent of cottage cheese.
Ants too have the sour tang of cheddar, and your really need a good mouthful to taste anything at all. By all accounts, the flavour depends largely on what the ants were feeding before cooking.
Generally, bugs tend to acquire the name of “maeng”. Although you will find “maeng da” too which is a rude term for a money-grabbing female as well as an apple flavoured tasty type of cockroach.
All these street foods are claimed to have high levels of protein, and if you are worried about picking up a case of “Delhi-belly” then check the produce is fresh and only eat freshly cooked food.
Try to pick a hawker food stall which looks busy and which is frequented by locals. In this way, you are almost sure not to suffer any ill effects from enjoying an unusual and tasty feast.
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