Sunday, November 21, 2010

Palm Heart Puffs

Saturday night walking market on Wua Lai road provides an opportunity to sample even more food, with a helpful English sign here and there.

These caught my eye, looking like a pile of something between fairy floss and scoops of ice cream, before I spotted their explanation. "It looks, feels, and tastes like a bready flour cake, but it's not. It's made from steamed palm hearts.....
The orangy cake is apparently naturally coloured and flavoured, and originates from a heart of a Toddy Palm (ต้นตาล - Sugar Palm - Borassus flabellifer). I thought this was one of the most environmentally unfriendly desserts I'd ever eaten, because a palm tree will die if its heart is removed. So I told myself they were slaughtered for another good cause and the hearts would have just gone to waste...or, that they were harvested from farmed palms.

Websites call them (ขนมลูกตาล - kha nohm luuk dtaan) a 'sweet made from the jelly like seeds of a sugar palm' or 'Palm Heart Puffs'. So the heart isn't really the heart! I watched a fella at a Brunei market extracting these jelly seeds and it seemed very labour intensive for a very small morsel return.

They are bready, a bit rubbery, not too sweet and topped with shredded coconut. I think there may be a little rice flour in them also, judging by the recipes online. The pastel varieties seem to be flavoured with rose water or similar?

A thumbs up! I'd go back for more.

Snap's other blog Chiang Mai Thai


Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Gee whiz mate! those palm heart puffs sound promising, wonder how they would go squashed flat and fried with a lot of crispy bacon and a couple of eggs. Crikey my mouth is watering already. Maybe you could crank Otto up?..Ok off to brekky now, have my trakky on....18.5 @ 6am under the outside roof, o/nite drizzle and the tanks are trickling over.....Al-Pal @ 291

Snap said... Best Blogger Tips

Probably better with hot custard :)

The weather's warmed up in the last few days, here...not hot inside though and the humidity is low, which is always a blessing. Personally I hope the cold (coolish)snap returns.