Sukhothai Style

I spent the previous four days up in the former Thai kingdom of Sukhothai. Going up to this northern city wasn't a food trip per se, but being that I was traveling with Thai people, food was always at hand. Basically we would get up, eat breakfast, stop for coffee, find a snack, eat lunch, find more snacks and eat a huge dinner. Repeat for three days.

Sukhothai is not really a food destination, but there's some interesting stuff there if you know what to look for. With some free time on our hands the first night, we stopped by Sukhothai's fresh market to see what was going on. Here's a busy curry vendor:


Freshwater fish has been an important food of the people of this region for a very long time, and was included in virtually each of our meals. Here's some of the raw ingredients being sold at the evening market:


The next day we got up early to check out the ruins of the nearby Sri Satchanalai Historical Park. Luckily for us, there was a small market going on right near the ruins. We thus ordered some coffee prepared the traditional way:


To give you an idea of the setting, this is what dominated the vendor's view:


The weather at Sukhothai Historical Park was hot so we stopped for a cool snack. Can anyone guess what this is?


I'll give you a hint: take a couple scoops of homemade coconut ice cream, some sticky rice, peanuts, sweetned condensed milk, and put it between two slices of white bread. What do you have? An ice cream sandwich, of course!

Outside of Sukhothai we stopped at Hat Saa, a small town known for its silk weaving industry, and also home to a pretty good restaurant serving dishes using some of the local ingredients. Among other things, we ordered kaeng paa muu paa, "jungle" curry with boar:


And yam yawt maphrao awn, a "salad" of tender coconut shoots:


One of our last stops was at a place that sells Sukhothai-style noodles. These are really popular and quite well known, but as far as I could tell, are pretty much the same as noodles sold in Bangkok except that they included a variety of pork (barbequed pork, par-boiled pork and stewed pork ribs) and came topped with thinly-sliced par-boiled green beans:


Much more interesting, and more delicious, was the "Sukhothai-style" phat thai, which despite Sukhothai being at least 400 km away from the sea, included prawns: