Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Things on a STICK

Cooked octopus
Thai’s eat nearly everything on a stick. Whether they give you a bag of something and it comes with a stick or they cook the food right in front of you on the stick. Stick food to them is our hot dog. It is  easy to grab and go, cheap and has many varieties. You can get beef, pork, fish or chicken balls on a stick. You can get squid, octopus or baby squid on a stick.  You can get pretty much anything you want to fried on a stick. Basically, the list could go on and on. One of the main things you see on a stick is the many different varieties of hotdogs. Yes, that’s right hot dogs. Thai’s love their hot dogs. Big, small, cut up, fried, wrapped in wonton wrapper, wrapped in dough, another list that is never ending.  They take the dogs, skewer them and place them over an open coal or stick them into big vat of oil, making them very unhealthy and almost too greasy to handle. Thai’s love their sticks and putting their foods on sticks, but is this just a way for fast food, or a part of their culture.

Fish balls
To me this food item is so prevalent in the food world of Thailand that it is something that will never be lost. It is here to stay and the Thai’s love the simplicity of their seemingly disgusting processed meats on a stick. As for me, I can’t really do it too often. Yes, the hot dogs taste good, the squid is nice and tender and the meatballs full of flavor. But I always finding myself wondering what the HELL it is I’m eating and why I am so inclined to do so. Sometimes in the stick foods you find mystery crunchy bits, which I assume to be cartilage or what I hope to be a large piece of some sort of spice. Things on a stick are such a staple here, but for me, they are not.

Fried hotdogs and everything else

The thing that is so special about everything on a stick is the spicy chilies sauce that comes with each different stick. Each vender makes his or her own sauce, and it shows. This is where the flavor is in the sticks and this it what draws me back to them every now and them. Thai’s sit and simmer a mixture of sugar, water, chilies and fish sauce to make a wonderful, spicy sauce to accompany the sticks. These sauces are the best! I want them to put over rice, dip in crackers and basically just eat it with a spoon.

Food on a stick feast
The Thai culture loves their food on a stick, something that I will never understand. But the one thing that I do understand are their sauces, and man are they good! A stick without a sauce is like a hotdog without mustard. It just plain sucks and isn’t even worth eating.

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