Just a shuttle ride away...
Our adventure began in the late Chiang Mai morning, finding the Thai Farm Cooking School through a destined google search the evening before. Goes to show, some of the best adventures in life are not always planned in advance.
Selecting our menus was the most effort put forth. We tried to select which curry we wanted based on our false belief that green was the most spicy and yellow the mildest. Turns out, the color of the sauce is not the indicator to spice level.
At the market
Walking the stalls at the market in Chiang Mai, we were delighted with a custom tour, explaining the origins and qualities of the ingredients we were to use in our cooking.
Sticky rice pictured above has much more use in Thai cooking than just mango sticky rice. Our guide, Garnet, showed us how to roll the sticky rice into a ball and dip it into curry to pick up the flavors of the sauce.
Ingredients from local farms are heaped on every stall table. In March, tamarind is in season. Beneath the crusty shell is a thick syrup or reddish brown fiber. The flavor is sweet with a flavorful punch of lime. Tamarind is well known for its digestive healing abilities.
Our guide, Garnet, reveals to us the origins of coconut milk. When a coconut is green and young, the flesh is soft and the water is sweet. Young coconuts are consumed by drinking the water and spooning out the delicious soft flesh. Older coconuts have a hard flesh, and bitter water. The coconut is run through a grating machine, where once you squeeze, a beautiful coconut milk is created.
The stalls are piled high with ingredients.
Jarred Palm with a bag of palm sugar.