A Retiring Attitude

 |  May 31, 2010

Comfort food: Food that is simply prepared and
associated with a sense of home or contentment.

Even though Thailand has some of the greatest food in the world an expat can sometimes crave the junky, high caloric comfort food of home. All you need to do is to go on down to your local Thai market.

There’s a woman at my local market that makes great homemade potato chips. Add to that a bag of her freshly made popcorn and some fried pork rinds, the fatty kind of course. I tried fried crickets for the first time a while ago and they’re not bad. Just pretend that they are Doritos and crunch on. Now you’re ready to watch that pirated video you just bought.

Waffles are made fresh at most markets. I buy them, take them home, and microwave them the next morning for breakfast with honey from wild bees. The local corn on the cob is great as are fresh roasted peanuts and cashews. Thais love boiled peanuts, an American comfort food popular in the 19th century. Give them a try.

My market has chicken of all kinds, boiled, roasted, barbecued, covered in soy sauce. But my favorite is batter-fried chicken wings, comfort food just like mama use to make.

Now that I have lived in Thailand for a while, snack time would not be complete without some of the great Thai comfort foods. Of course there’s ice cream. When I first came to Thailand the only ice cream available was made from coconut milk. And I still love it. Sprinkled with peanuts and covered with condensed milk, coconut milk ice cream continues to be a comfort food pleasure.

My favorite Thai comfort food of all time though is mangoes and sticky rice. The sticky rice is soaked in sweet coconut milk making the combination something you might find in one of the higher levels of comfort food heaven. There are also deep fried bananas surrounded by a crispy batter. Then there is the durian. This spiky fruit stinks to high heaven but if you can get over the smell you are in for a treat that even a New York cheese cake couldn’t top for richness. And don’t forget the hundreds of different varieties of kanom (Thai sweets) sold at every market in the country.

This is giving me the munchies. Excuse me while I go get myself a snack.

For further information about retiring to Thailand check out Hugh’s site www.retire2thailand.com.

Hugh’s advice for the month: I have just discovered that supermarkets here have begun to carry Chips Ahoy cookies, my favorite chocolate chip cookies in the world (now made in Indonesia). Try them, but if you do any attempts at a weight loss programme are doomed to failure.