Chiang Mai Thai
Cookery School...
Showing off my soup.
Different varieties of rice at the
market we visited.
November 13, 2006

Today was our chance to bring some of the tasty Thai goodness back home with us. We opted for a full-day cooking course where we would learn
six new dishes.

But before we did that, we were taken to a local market. This market visit was better than the one I did before my China cooking class
considering the lack of its dual use as a slaughterhouse. We were shown different varieties of their fruits and veggies (for example, the small
globe-shaped eggplants and green papayas). We ventured over to the rice stalls to learn that all rice is not created equal. Some rice has a lot of
humidity if you stick your hand into it (bad) while other rice is very dry (good). We would also learn (as one guy quickly found out) that you don’
t ask a Thai if they have basmati rice in Thailand. Our guide snapped (in her funny, smart-a*s way) stating that it is Indian and they do not sell
such a thing over here. I sampled a couple of new tropical fruits that I hadn’t yet tried: jackfruit (a bit too sweet for my taste) and the red dragon
fruit (I actually like the white one better as it doesn’t stain your teeth pink like this one did).

After a 30-minute drive, we got to the school and scoped out a cooking area. We shifted from the classroom (where we were shown how to make
a dish) to our stoves (so that we could re-create what we were just shown) between courses. I specially tweaked my dishes for my taste buds
that love things a little bit on the sweeter side. Personally, I loved my curry. I offered a taste to my sister and she loved it as well. I thought it
was the perfect balance of sweet and spicy. It was quite funny watching the head of the cooking school look at me in horror when he saw how
much palm sugar I was using. It seemed that I was making some sort of Thai faux pas based on his reaction. I knew better than to ask if him he
wanted to taste some of my creation. I have to say something: these Thai people seem to love the feeling of their mouths being on fire. I,
however, am not a fan of this sensation. Untrue to typical Thai cooking, I was careful to not use too many little green chilies (we found out that
the green ones are hotter than the red ones – this was news to me!). I stuck to three per dish…one little guy goes a long way!

There was a necessary digestion break where many of us just sat around chatting after the first four dishes that we prepared. Once the break
was over, it was time to make our two sweeter dishes: papaya salad (which just happens to be one of my favorite dishes over here) and a
steamed banana cake.

We all had a great time in a great setting. Seven hours later, we were dropped off in town equipped with the knowledge of how to cook a mean
Thai dinner when we get home…

here to look at the menu of the foods we made.
Back to Thailand.
After a hard day's work in the