Singapore Adventure

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Trick Or Treat
by venitha

Aren't these adorable?

But even if I tell you I'd rather eat a dozen more bamboo worms than take a single bite of one of these fruity gems, you can't believe me, and you still want to try one for yourself, don't you? Welcome to the insidious world of the Asian dessert. Epicurean torture and disappointment that you fall for again... and again... and again. For the record, bamboo worms, deep-fried, are essentially potato chips with a slightly unpleasant powdery after-taste.

We were served two of these too too cute little pears in Bangkok at the end of a fabulous many-coursed meal, by far our most expensive meal in southeast Asia. They arrived with ceremony on a tiny little plate alongside the coffee and dessert, relatively rave-worthy bananas in warm, sweet coconut milk. Served at this point in a posh Western restaurant meal, the miniature treats would have been liqueur-filled chocolates or Jordan almonds or after-dinner mints or something similarly decadent and wonderful, no?

Tragically, in Thailand, these are thorougly revolting, so disgusting in fact, that I discouraged Jim from even trying his. The only thing I can conceivably compare them to is butter beans, but butter beans are much tastier and much much sweeter. I hate butter beans.

We saw these "candies" again on the street in Chiang Mai and giggled wickedly to watch other Caucasians fall for them; they really are irresistibly cute, especially nestled in among the deep-fried, pickled, and visually unappetizing street goodies. The people we watched take the plunge made suitably hilarious faces to have been taken in by such a darling package of such extreme yuckiness.

I regret now that I didn't think to buy a bag of these colorful treats for our visiting niece and nephew's Christmas stockings. <insert evil laugh here> One must not rest on her laurels if she is to maintain her vaunted "favorite aunt" status.

Yes, I hear the chorus, led by no less than my mother, who loves me: "Are you the only aunt?" Here, Mom, I have some Christmas treats for you! Aren't they adorable? Meeeerrrrry Christmas!