Condom Salads and More in Bangkok

Categories: Travel Hog
CondomSaladCU.jpg
Photo by Riki Altman
'Scuse me, waiter, but there seems to be a rubber in my salad.
Editor's note: In a three-part series, intrepid Short Order writer Riki Altman will share the good, bad, silly, remarkable, and entirely inedible highlights of a recent trip to Thailand.

Thanks to an incredibly kind offer from the folks at the Thai Trade Center in Miami, I traveled for a week to Bangkok, coinciding with the annual THAIFEX World of Food Asia show (and, strangely enough, the premiere of The Hangover Part IIwhich was set in that very city). While there, I saw whacky ways to serve fish (trick the kids!), more seaweed than I ever thought existed, new products I never would've imagined, and incredibly intricate fruit carvings.

The journey also included visits to the best street-side pad thai place, markets on railroad tracks and on the water, the processing plant where all of the canned tuna we eat comes from (I promise to tell you which brand is best and why), and a lesson at the world-famous Blue Elephant Restaurant and Cooking School.

I also visited grand palaces, watched a cobra fight a mongoose, and partook of a few of those $30 Thai massages, but that's for another blog. Oh, and before you ask, yes, I did see a Ping-Pong show and, no, I did not take pictures. (I'm a food writer, for goodness' sake!) Let's stick to the eats, shall we?

First, let's start with the condom salad.


CondomSalad.jpg
Photo by Riki Altman
Before you get entirely grossed out, those little "condoms" are actually rolled-up glass noodles. It turns out there's a chain of restaurants called Cabbages & Condoms, supported by Thailand's Population and Community Development Association (yes, that would be "PDA"). Created in an effort to make discussions about birth control more, uh, palatable for the general population, these eateries look mostly innocent at first, but then the wall décor is a collection of packaged condoms, and random condom-clad mannequins are placed throughout.

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Photo by Riki Altman
But as for this creamy sauce, well, I'm not quite sure what that comprised. Any guesses?

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Photo by Riki Altman
Looks like she was dressed appropriately for a visit. OK, so in other news...

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Photo by Riki Altman
Here's the place that Jessica Simpson probably would go for her morning coffee.

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Photo by Riki Altman
And here's a snack that would make her toss her biscotti. Yep, those are frogs.

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Photo by Riki Altman
Of course, we Americans can always count on McDonald's for recognizable eats, right? But is this something anyone would truly crave?

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Photo by Riki Altman
Another food item that was a bit foreign to my American palate was shark fin soup, like that sold at this kiosk in a mall. I'm a big fan of sharks, so I refused to try it, though I hear it's actually pretty tasty.

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Photo by Riki Altman
And then here's something from the Bangkok Post:

Before you freak out, perhaps you should be informed that the word poo actually means "crab."

Tomorrow we'll go on a photo journey through the THAIFEX food fair and more. Stay hungry, my friends.

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6 comments
Richard Head
Richard Head

No wonder most of the flavored condoms come out of asia

Julia E
Julia E

Lucky you! Bangkok is one of my favorite cities... Cabbages & Condoms has great food and does *amazing* work. 

Dlitig8r
Dlitig8r

Interesting fare, Riki. Looking forward to reading how it all tastes.

Wordstarink
Wordstarink

Hey there "Ilike2eatfood!" I actually snapped this one at the train station. Broc-o-pies to go! 

Ilike2eatfood
Ilike2eatfood

HAHAHAH pretty awesome. what the hell do you travel half way round the world to be in a mcdonalds for though?

Ashley Rodriguez
Ashley Rodriguez

I believe a lot of the American fast food chains have items on their menus overseas that are more regional for the locals. I'd actually stop by a McD's or BK to check out the unique items!

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