Talaat Nat Mania

Talaat nat were defined by my university Thai textbook as "occasional markets". This doesn't help much, so let me explain: Every Saturday afternoon in my neighborhood, a market springs up out of nowhere. There are prepared foods and ingredients, as well as lesser-important non food related frivolities. It's a big deal and EVERYBODY comes out, the old, the young, beggars, construction workers from the nearby housing project... It's a lot of fun, and virtually only a few steps from my door.

These beautiful rose apples are for sale every week.

Stopping by to pick up the essentials; limes and dried fish (?).

This is where to get your garlic and shallot fix. She's mobile.

Southern Thai-style curries. I think there must be several people of southern Thai origin in my neighborhood, as there are about three or four stalls selling this type of food.

This khao mok kai is sold by a Muslim family.

In addition to southern food, there are also a couple people selling northern Thai food. The sausages above are a northern speciality called sai ua and consist of fatty pork and fresh herbs such as lemongrass, lime leaf and galangale. Very, very good.

Continuing on the sausage theme, these northeastern-style sausages are filled with rice, glass noodles, and a kind of sour, fermented pork, and are also grilled.

Another popular northeastern dish is grilled freshwater fish, especially catfish, as seen at the top of the pic. The other fish are coated in salt before being grilled.

These are nam phrik, various "salsas" or dips that you have over rice or with vegetables.

And for dessert, try a pumpkin filled with custard and steamed, or

colored sugar twisted into birds and other shapes.