Friday, January 11, 2008

Those Thai Almond Things Again

Some Kind of Thai Almonds

I'm still stumped as to what exactly these things are, but some guy was selling these Thai nuts out on the beach again today, asking for a whopping 50 Baht (US$1.70) for a tiny little bag. We bargained him down to two bags for 60 Baht (US$2.00), but I still wonder what the deal is with these things. He said that they were expensive because they came all the way from Chiang Mai. Really?

Well, I still love the taste of these things. The white flesh underneath the thin brown skin is so delicate yet delightfully rich...mildly butter-like, and with a touch of smokiness. It looked like I wasn't the only one that likes these: a bird came by later to eat the scraps that fell to the ground. Can anyone help clarify what these things are?

10 comments:

Y3 said...

You can find these locally, (or at least in Malaysia). The malay name for it is 'kacang parang' (literally machete nuts).

bma said...

Thanks. That helps. A quick Google search suggests that kacang parang are fava beans (Hannibal Lecter would be proud), but I am not sure if these are the same as they don't have that dimple shape. Can anyone confirm if my understanding is correct? Thanks!

Karen said...

this actually reminds me of jackfruit seeds that are dried out then boiled and salted - the outer layer is crisp and hard and has to be removed... i remember eating them a lot (without being toasted) when i was a kid at home with mom... i'm quite sure it's jackfruit... they're tasty! i can imagine if they're toasted they'd be even better!

bma said...

Thanks, but I think that these were smaller, and the shell was paper thin. Hmm...this is a head scratcher. Anyone else have any ideas?

frankie23 said...

By your description of the taste and make of them, they make me think of chestnuts. Maybe some local variation?

Anonymous said...

I think they are broadbeans. You could probably find them in any supermarket or 7-11 in Singapore, in the snacks or chips section. Normally sold simply salted, in a vacuum pack.

Benedict said...

Check out the picture on the wikpedia site.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irvingia

Irvingia is a genus of African and Southeast Asian trees in the family Irvingiaceae, sometimes known by the common names wild mango, African mango, or bush mango. They bear edible mango-like fruits, and are especially valued for their fat- and protein-rich nuts, known as ogbono, etima, odika, or dika nuts.

bma said...

Wow - I think we finally have a winner. Just to be sure, I Googled "Irvingia and Thai" and it provided a Thai name (bok) that matched what the lady told me last time. Nice work!

Now, if only I knew where to buy these things outside of Thailand. That page suggests that the English name is "Barking Deer's Mango," but I'm sure to get a puzzled look if I were to go into a store to ask for that.

Benedict said...

Yes, you have a winner. I got a friend who is based in Chiangmai to source for some on his way back.

pinkchocs said...

These are definitely jackfruit seeds. I stayed with an Akha family once and I saw them boil the seeds then fry them with salt in a pan. :)