Everyone has in some way heard of Thai street food, but the concept is so alien to UK dwellers that we just assume it means something along the lines of fried chicken burgers, hot dogs and chips.
In actual fact it is much more diverse than you could ever imagine. A well established Thai street food trader can have all the mod cons of any upmarket restaurant, (excluding toilet facilities) and have repeat customers travel far and wide to eat their food!
The general idea of street food is quick, easy and tasty food without the formalities of a traditional restaurant.
Don’t get me wrong, Thai street food is comparible if not better than the food you would expect to pay top doller for at any five star Thai restaurant. Just dont expect to be eating from fine bone china crockery, with polished silverware and have your drink served in a crystal glass by Jeeves!
Chances are that you will be sat on a plastic chair, eating with an alluminium spoon and fork, from a plastic plate with a taxi driving past within 2ft of your table. If this bothers you then go somewhere else. If it is flavoursome freshly prepared authentic Thai food you crave then you’re in safe hands.
But what about food hygiene i hear you say, what about those all important best before dates and food hygiene ratings we rely upon so much in the UK… The answer is simple. Street food traders buy their supplies in the morning and it is all sold before the evening ends.
There are no freezers, no fridges, no sticky food labels or best before dates. The street food traders do not leave their perch until all has been sold. The fresh ingredients they use sit on a bed of ice to keep cool in the unforgiving evening Thai heat untill they are all used up.
Reputation is everything and with so much competition along the streets, no trader would dare to risk their reputation to deliver poor quality food.
Obviously Ice and heat dont mix, what happens when the ice melts, not to fear, There are numerous 24 hour crushed ice delivery services which when phoned will drive upto the street food stall on a moped and deliver the crushed ice to ensure all the ingredients keep fresh at a low cost to the trader.
Street food stalls can vary in size and prestige from a simple barbecued pork satay stall or a ice cream stall to a fully fledged reputable seafood and lobster specialist with people queing down the street to get a table.
It doesnt just stop at food either, there are street bars whch have a full range of international spirits, mixers and cocktails which you can enjoy….but i will save that blog for another time!
It is safe to say that when you visit Thailand, dont just see the street food as a bit of a novelty, make it your first choice for eating out because with authentic Thai street food you will never be dissapionted!