Wonder of wonders. Bite after bite. Im not just tasting deliciousness but also simultaneously getting a lesson in history, geography, culture, sustainability and all the lesser known facts about Thai cuisine. Here amid 26 acres of lush, tropical beauty of Rayavadee, in Krabi, Southern Thailand. Im surrounded by towering limestone, jungle-topped cliffs and the stunningly beautiful emerald water of the Andaman sea.I love this stunningly beautiful area not just for it’s natural beauty. it’s rich flora, fauna and marine life but also for the way it is all preserved. The villas here, nestle in between trees and blend seamlessly with the environment. its like being in a southern Thai village.
Birds and animals are not disturbed at all. Im all admiration for their sustainable water and waste management and Rayavadee’s Enlive foundation which raises awareness of the need to protect Krabi's fragile ecosystem. Also, tamarind,Gooseberry, Mango and Coconut and herbs grow all around us.
It is here that the brilliant master chef Amphan Chaiyawan weaves her wok magic. As waves crash rhythmically at our feet, she celebrates the sweet heat of Thailand. And orchestrates an amazing symphony of the flavours and perfumes of lemon grass, ginger, galangal, coconut, Thai basil. Sugary and fiery notes see saw together. It is here that I learn about how Thai food is all about texture; color; taste; and the use of ingredients with medicinal benefits, as well as good flavor, as well as care being given to the food's appearance, smell and context.
Thai cuisine is not just about red and green curries and raw papaya salads. It varies from region to region.
Im explained about how there are five regional cuisines and also all the leser known facts of Thai cuisine.
PRINCESS OF PAAN
Found. The world’s best Thai version of our “paan” (betel leaf) “Mieng Pla Kapong” its a flavour bomb which implodes with the sweet spicy heat of Thailand. It’s the Here, I not only taste it but also get the recipe. Here, in Krabi, Thailand, feasting takes on a whole different meaning. Not only do I get high on the sweet heat of authentic Thai flavours but do so on the stunningly beautiful natural beauty.
Stroll along a moonlit path to Phranang Beach and experience the ultimate dinner by the sea at Krua Phranang, this resort's romantic Thai restaurant.. The ever helpful Keiko Hori translates for us as we thrill to the dishes. That with each dish we order, a Thai baht is donated to underprivileged charity or that that each dish is made of locally sourced sustainable ingredients only magnifies deliciousness
MIENG PLA KAPONG (Ingredients)
Chapoo leaf (can use our paan leaf) Mix together lightly steamed chunks of sea bass, cashew nuts, ginger, lime, chilli, shallot & sweet sauce. Fold like a “paan” and pop into your mouth. And be transported straight to Thailand!
DID YOU KNOW?
· The Thai diner used to eat with his fingers till the fork and spoon were introduced in the late 19thcentury. This after their king returned from a tour of Europe.
· Id never heard of “khluk” which is very important to Thai dining. Its the mixing of flavors and textures of different dishes with the rice from one's plate.
· Americas have played a very crucial role in influencing Thai food. Here’s how… through the introduction of the chilli pepper in the 16th or 17th century.
· Similarly, ships brought new foodstuffs from the Americas including tomatoes, pea eggplants, corn, papaya, pineapple, cashews, and peanuts. And these form a very important part of Thai cuisine.
· Finally, I share with you the most delicious “Sawadee Khaaa” (welcome drink) which Keiko offered to me. In coconut water add lime sorbet, lemon juice with crushed ice and whoosh…once again be transported to Thailand.