Sunday, July 4, 2010

Use of Coconuts and Monkeys in Thailand

When time permits, I like to watch cricket, FIFA or Travel & Living. One such time, when I was watching the travel channel, they were doing a feature on Thai food. It was quite interesting and similar to the Kerala cuisine and naturally, I paid attention to some interesting facts that came up.

In the 16th century, the Portuguese introduced coconut as an integral part of Thai food.  They showed a sweet crispy wafer that is a very popular snack in Thailand and it is made from a mix of rice flour, sugar, eggs and then flavored with coconuts and peanuts. They claim its an awesome snack and by the way it looked, I can't really doubt their claims.

Kerala too has considerable Portuguese influence but it is believed that coconut was a part of Kerala cuisine even before their arrival. In Kerala, there are traditional coconut climbers who climb the trees and throw down the coconuts that are ready to be used. Nearly every home in Kerala has coconut trees, so the role of a climber can be well-imagined, isn't it?

Interestingly, in Thailand, the people train monkeys to do the same job. Initially, it was almost offensive to know that but then it is just a sign of efficiency at their end. Each monkey is trained to pick upto a thousand coconuts per day and expected to work eight long hours. 

Before the documentary could be seen completely, my son switched the channel to watch Tom and Jerry and I didn't have the heart to stop him. So, there ends this post. Hope you found it interesting too. 

9 comments:

SG said...

Nice informative information. I thought monkeys pick coconuts only in Thailand's Samui Island. May be my knowledge is outdated. From your post, it looks like it a common thing all over Thailand.

Mridula said...

Interesting post. Thanks for sharing, I like coconut based dishes a lot.

....Petty Witter said...

I did indeed find it interesting.

R. Ramesh said...

sanand ji
Your words of consolation on loss of my brother helped me strengthen myself. I really appreciate it and pray for peace and good health to you and yr near ones. Really lucky to have come across you.

R. Ramesh said...

sanand ji
Your words of consolation on loss of my brother helped me strengthen myself. I really appreciate it and pray for peace and good health to you and yr near ones. Really lucky to have come across you.

Sanand said...

@SG - Thanks for reading it and reverting too. From what I saw, it did seem like its a common thing but I am not sure coz I didn't see the show fully.

@Mridula - yes, coconut desserts are also tasty.

@Petty - Thanks! Great to know that.

@R Ramesh - No, dear friend, thanks is not even required in moments like this when we are helpless to help one another. There is very little one can say in such times but it is good to be able to reach out to each other in such moments. The honor of knowing such a fine person like you is truly mine. I am saying this straight from the heart.

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Hope Monkeys are cheaper than men...

Sanand said...

@Shrinidhi - I guess.

NRIGirl said...

Cool! That's a brilliant idea. Now, if only you could share the name of the documentary... I would love to watch it.

Sanand: It is my first visit to your blog. You have a great blog going. Keep at it and post more about your precious little buddy!

~ NRIGirl