There may have been a bit of squealing. Possibly even some capering about, when I spied the Bang Rak Market on our way back from Bo Phut. I delight in farmers markets, or open-air food markets of any kind, for that matter. Somewhere in the raw jumble of unprocessed, home-grown, hand-caught local food lies the key to a place, and to the people that live and eat there.
Inside of an immense structure made primarily of sticks and tarps, rows of vendor stalls stretched into dim infinity. Out front: bright tropical fruits, and greens of every variety and hue.
A little farther back, stall after stall of fish, glistening on beds of ice, or just heaped in bowls or on newspaper. The mineral tang of fish guts filled the air, reminding me of summer evenings at the lake watching my brother clean his day’s catch.
Rows of meat vendors displayed their wares. Everything from whole chickens to ham hocks, to organ meats of every shade from deep purple to bright red, laid out without plastic wrap or refrigeration, whirlygig gadgets fanning away most of the flies.
Around the edges of the market were a few vendors selling packaged grocery items—noodles, sauces, spices, rice. You could get everything you needed here, without having to stop at a supermarket at all.
And then there were the lunch options. Skewered grilled fish, meatballs, deep fried chicken wings, and endless rich, saucy curry options, served over rice. The scents were intoxicating.
Next installment: Thai cooking class in Chaweng