Friday, September 24, 2010

Nata De Coco...Salacca...Favourite Foods!!!!!

Stray and I have enjoyed broadening our food horizons as we travel, trying different dishes, vegetables and fruit. We dropped into (not our usual) an Asian grocery store yesterday on the hunt for fresh, thick sheets of rice noodle, but they didn't stock it.

We want to try our hand(s) at making Pho Chien Phong. Little pillows of fried noodle topped with beef and kang kong. We love cooking, because we love eating good food.
Not my photo, but we tried it in Hanoi, it's delicious.
It's somewhere on the table amongst this lot. Excuse the smudge on the lens.
While we were at the store, I picked up a jar of Nata de coco...coz it looked good and I thought it would taste like coconut. It doesn't! Even though it's made from fermented coconut juice, it has a mildly sweet taste and odd texture. It reminds me of biting into lychee flesh, but a bit tougher/chewier and without the distinct lychee flavour.

Again, not my picture or the brand I bought, but the same.

Apparently it's high in fibre and low in fat and cholesterol, but still a bit high in sugar, nearly perfect! I think I've tasted it before, but without knowing what it was. I'm happy to say that the jar I bought was imported from I can enjoy it there too. It's delicious in fruit salad.

My other major joy for the week was identifying a fruit I ate in Bangkok. I know, I lead a pretty boring life at the moment. Thanks to Thai Language, I found the English? and Thai name for it and can now ask for it when I hit the markets. I remembered its name as 'salat', so my Google searches resulted in millions of photos of salad and were fruitless ;) Salak or salacca - ลูกสละ luuk sa la.

Again...not my photo.

Luuk sa la grows on a palm and is also known as 'snake fruit' due to its scaly like skin. It too has a lychee like texture, but the taste is completely different...a bit like a fruit salad if my memory serves me correctly.

Another scrumptious nibbley is candied nuts from China. My Chinese girlfriend, whom I worked with in Australia, introduced me to them. I asked her what sort of nuts they were, but she could only define them as 'small' nuts, as opposed to 'big' nuts. She offered to find a picture of the nuts on the Internet, but I cautioned her about searching for small and big nuts on a work computer!

I think they're actually small, broken pieces of fried walnuts, but it's the candy part that throws you way off, sweet and salty. Nothing like I've ever tasted.

What types of 'different' food have you tasted? What would you recommend? What would you suggest staying away from?


DanPloy said... Best Blogger Tips

For some reason I have never tasted dragon fruit before ((Geow Mangon แก้วมังกร which means literally 'glass dragon' in Thai). The flesh is similar in texture to a kiwi fruit and it seems to be similarly high in Vitamin C. The red variety which my wife bought is quite spectacular and absolutely delicious. 35 baht/kilo for the larger ones, 30 baht/kilo for the smaller ones.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Dan, thanks for dropping by! I've tasted the white fleshed Dragon Fruit, but not the red like in your photo.

In Australia they sell for around $15.00 per kilo, that's if you can find them. We actually have a plant in our yard, but it's grown about 20 metres or more up a tree. The only fruit we see are pea sized ones, that have fallen to the ground.

I'll be tasting the red variety soon :)

Kyle said... Best Blogger Tips

Great topic... When it's about Gastronomy I'm quite interested lol.

The blog is gr8.

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks Kyle...I'll be writing more about food in the year to come, I'm sure. Hope you keep visiting ;)