Thailand is all about the food! The streets are filled with food cart vendors who specialize in just a few items – this means what they do offer is REALLY, REALLY good. It seems that Thai people love to snack and the carts are always busy. We ate shrimp, fish, chicken and some things we couldn’t identify with no hesitation because the food is so fresh and the bounty of produce so amazing!

Our first lunch was one of those eating experiences that hit all the senses and is hard to forget, one that I will compare other meals to for a long time to come. A simple fish soup on the streets of Bangkok. It was close to 95 degrees and the humidity was off the charts (especially for a Portlander) but there I was ordering soup. I was struck by this beautiful bowl with it’s fresh cilantro, spring onions and chillies. (and loaded with shrimp) A perfect beginning to the Thai food extravaganza and just the right amount of heat to cool me down.

The design and artful presentation of food, both at the carts and at the market is a visual feast too. We took way too many photos at the markets we kept finding ourselves lost in –

The care of design is seen here in the way each basket of fish has two fish in one direction and one in the other creating a pattern amongst the baskets.

The lemongrass, galangala, lime leaves and ginger are sold as carefully tied bundles to add to soups.

These bound banana leaf packages have both sweet and savory surprises surrounded by sticky rice.

The egg presentation was a gorgeous display of color!

There can never be too many condiments.

Sweet, sweet donuts – I liked the way these looked, but I didn’t try them…

In Chiang Mai, we took a cooking class at the Thai Farm School. We made a chicken coconut soup, Tom kaa gai – so good!

Bon Appetite!