Over the month of February, Savoury City’s Donna Wadsworth and Blaine Arnot continued their epic culinary journey throughout Thailand, discovering new flavours and dishes along the way. When culinary legends like Donna and Blaine go on vacation, they are also looking for gastronomic inspiration and fresh ideas to bring back home. So, of course, I wanted a chance to sit down with Donna to find out what they discovered on their trip! As usual, Donna didn’t disappoint!
Chris: What were some of your more memorable food experiences while in Bangkok?
Donna: One of my favourite discoveries was the mangosteen! I’d never had one before. Oh my God, they are so good! You’re looking at this thing that looks like a clump of garlic, and then you taste this incredible flavour! In general, I went crazy for the fruit: mangoes, finger bananas, passion fruit.
I also went crazy for the Mango sticky rice! Ridiculously good! And I tried every version of noodle I could find: dried, sautéed, wet noodles in soup!
I loved their chicken wrapped in pandan leaves as well! I was surprised to find that chicken breasts were the cheapest to buy there. It’s not a popular part of the chicken there; instead, they go for the wings and thighs, but the breasts are cheap! And all the fresh flavourful fish! Just great river fish too.
Chris: What about Beverages?
Donna: I fell in love with their Mango Coconut shakes and iced coffees! The traditional coffee was too sweet for me, so I’d order iced lattes, which they make with super strong coffee and milk, but no sugar. Lovely!
Chris: You mentioned that you and Blaine made a pact that you wouldn’t go to any restaurants while in Bangkok. Besides the markets and mega malls, where else did you go to look for food?
Donna: One of the coolest places we found was called Klong Toie. It’s a wholesale market where the locals go. As you walk through the place, the fish are all live and flopping around, clams are spitting and crabs are crawling all over! Definitely an experience!
Chris: You talked about the flavours. How do they flavour many of their dishes?
Donna: Just all the spices! These days, Thai’s are more apt to buy their spices already prepared, as it’s a very labour intensive process. Pounding lemongrass, coriander root, shallots, garlic and other products with a mortar and pestle can take 1 to 2 hours to get it into a smooth paste. So many markets sell prepared spices–lots of fabulous versions of chili paste! I just wanted to try them all!
Chris: It sounds like Bangkok didn’t disappoint! Where did you get to next?
Donna: We left Bangkok and flew to Krabi, where we stayed at the famed Family Tree Hotel. They’re famous for their food!
To Be Continued…
Find out what happens next! Check back next week to hear all about the next leg of Donna and Blaine’s epic Thai adventure!