Thai Junk Food

Entire libraries of cookbooks have been written about Thai cuisine. This isn’t about that.

We took a cooking class a few days ago where we toured markets and cooked for hours, learning to make wonderful, spicy, amazing dishes. (Did you know that coriander is an actual plant that you can chop up and sauté, not dry powder in a glass jar? Who knew? And that curry isn’t a powder, but a mix of about five different actual plants, mushed up with a mortar and pestle?)

One of the most fun parts of being in another country is poking through grocery stores. What’s there? What’s not there? What do people eat as comfort food? I know, I’m supposed to think that Ding Dongs and Twinkies are awful, and they are, but I also secretly love them and I indulge once in a while. And I’m not immune to the siren call of Cool Ranch Doritos and Diet Coke.

So what’s the Thai equivalent?

Come with me on a tour through the local Tesco Express market at the Chiang Mai Gate, where we found these delicious items. No, we didn’t buy all of them, but we bought some. And a few of these were at the 7–11 next door.

First, the yogurt case. Yes we bought this but haven’t tried it yet.

Yup, this is yogurt. With corn, lotus nuts, and cereal beans. I still don’t know what those are. Haven’t tried it yet.

I found myself in the “wrapped cake” area. You know, where the Twinkies would be. If there were Twinkies. Instead, there is this.

Yup, that’s red bean paste filled green tea pie. Haven’t tried it yet.

I’ve had red bean paste, it’s a sort of mildly sweet filling for cakes at Chinese restaurants. Gotta try this one.

In the wrapped cakes, their character-themed products are a little different than the USA. That’s Sailor Moon, a staple of Japanese anime, definitely not the latest character from Disney or Pixar.

I think it’s a Sailor Moon Pie. Which would be hysterical. The lower one is stickers.

My next foray was into the chip aisle, where Adventurous Son later spent about 300 baht (about $10) on way too many kinds of chips. Fish-flavored chips seem to be a theme.

We didn’t actually buy these. Not entirely sure if they’re chips flavored with fish, or actual pieces of dried fish.

There are just too many kinds of chips to include here. Some of the more memorable flavors: ham and cheese sandwich, tomato, ketchup, sushi, prawn, and salt and lemon.

I’m a fan of tomato chips. They taste like ketchup. I love them.

Yes, tom-AY-to po-TAY-to chips.

Then there’s this. Strawberry candy. Strawberry milk candy. And check out the tag line.

Then here we go. Strawberry My Chewy Milk Candy with Good Taste of the Fashion Life.

And, who knew? My Chewy Milk Candy also comes in corn flavor. Yes. For real. Corn.

Corn flavor Milk Candy. No idea what this is. We didn’t buy it.

My next favorite junk food is Coca Cola with coffee. Yes. For real. It tastes exactly like you’d suspect… Coca Cola mixed with sweet iced coffee. Adventurous Son decided he liked it and bought two more.

For real. Coffee-flavored Coca-Cola

Then there’s this. For sale in a 7–11 (which are all over southeast Asia, but with no Slurpee machines!)

Hot dog. In a bun. With garlic sauce. In a bag.

The kids found a new favorite soda. Intrepid Husband swears it looks like radiator fluid. The kids say it tastes like melon. It’s really sweet. It reminds me of the green Jolly Rancher candies, only in liquid form.

Melon soda. It’s sweet. It’s weird. And it’s green.

Then there’s this. On a stick. In the grocery store.

We have sushi at home, but not on a stick.

And then, there’s Adventurous Son’s favorite potato chips. Sushi flavored.

Sushi chips. We DON’T have these at home.

I’m still hunting. I’ll report back with more options as I find them.

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