Art of Dessert Food Thailand

Even if you do not have a sweet tooth, the variety of sweets and desserts available in Thailand will get your mouth watering for a try! Not only are Thai desserts visually appealing but also actually deliciously delectable. Even the most hardened non-dessert eater will be tempted to give it a try. Desserts or known in Thai as "Khanom" is a generic word that could also mean a snack such as chips and other savories.These desserts are normally eaten after a meal in Thailand as the typical Thai menu is rather spicy and because they use a lot of herbs in the cooking, these desserts are used as a neutralizer to the spiciness and the strong smell of the herbs.

Thai desserts can be found anywhere from street vendors to the fancy restaurants. On the streets either in Bangkok or any other place you find food vendors or even at a 7-11, "Khanom" is easily available and mostly for a mere price of THB20 per pack depending on the type of dessert. Off course the most popular one is the mango and sticky rice with a coconut sauce on the top. But, why stick with the norm .... there are so many varieties to choose from. A Thai "Khanom" can be a soup based dessert or a solid dessert. The popular soup based desserts are those made from sago, rice flour dumplings with a peanut or coconut filling, ginkgo nuts and palm fruit or rice flour encased water chestnut, all floating in a rich aromatic coconut soup and served chilled.

Then there is also the cake like desserts, mostly made from coconut cream tops and sago base with a pandanus flavor, sweetened egg or pumpkin shreds served on sticky rice, coconut pudding and many more. Next comes the bite sized varieties such as those you commonly see made into very colorful fruits with a green bean paste on the inside, a baked coconut pudding with some sweet meat and chives on the top, small pandanus sticky rice nibblets and again a whole lot more.

The list of Thai desserts is as long as the history of Thailand! Local fruits are also turned into desserts such as grilled bananas with a caramel coconut syrup, sweetened preserved pears, coconut ice cream and mango ice cream just to name a few.Thai desserts is an actual food art-form handed down from generation to generation. Some families have a secret recipe that makes their desserts stand out from others. It is noted that many of the very traditional desserts have been lost in the modernization of the Thai palate as the younger generation prefer the more westernized varieties, but the Thai dessert is unique in every way, from the flavor to the ingredients and the cooking methods.

So the next time that you have a craving for a sweet tooth while in Thailand, make your way to a street vendor who sells these sweet delicacies and give it a try. Popular places where you can find a good variety of these desserts are in Chatuchak OTOP market which is a little way of from the Chatuchak Open Market, in the food courts of major shopping centers or even in the popular street market in Chinatown, Chok Chai Si or the floating markets of Thailand.

all photos courtesy of the respective copyright owners


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Writer: Pen Drageon

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