Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice!

Love Thai food!   Fresh ingredients, strong well blended flavours.  A variety.  Spices and herbs.  Rice and noodles.  Curries and papaya salad.  I can’t get enough.  Not so keen on the spicy stuff.  “Mai ped” (no spice) was one of the first Thai phrases I learned, ensuring I could order food and not feel like a fire breathing dragon.  But I love the flavours.  Lemongrass, garlic, pepper, kaffir lime leaves, chillies, cilantro, basil, ginger and Thai ginger “galanga,” coconut milk.   One thing I have learned is that large quantities of sugar help make the taste amazing. The hot, humid environment means your body craves sweet and the sweet balances out the chilies – Thai cooking often has a balance of spicy, sour, and sweet!   And MSG is also commonly used as a flavour enhancer.   It amplifies the flavours.  North American cultures tend to avoid msg and it has a bad reputation.  However most Asian cultures make use of the flavour enhancement.  
Our house ran out of sugar a few weekends ago. I was staying at the volunteer base and the volunteers who were around those days were craving sugar for their tea.  Lotsa tea grannies in our group!   So I sent a message out to various staff if they were around town to get some sugar.  
My coworker dropped off a clear bag of white granular condiment with a cool Thai serving spoon.   The writing was all in Thai with some Chinese characters. 

I didn’t think it was sugar – the texture was much like salt.  And somebody put it in the salt container.   I made two massive bowls of popcorn as I am known to do, for volunteer movie night and generously added lots of salt to one bowl and only a little to the other.  
Wellll.  The popcorn tasted funny but delicious.   We couldn’t figure it out.  Did I add sugar instead of salt?   Did the salt and sugar get mixed?  Ummmmmm.  Nope. My coworker bought msg.  Hilarious mistake but it was probably the best popcorn I ever ate.  We had tonnes of it, adding some real salt as well.   
I recommend trying it.  It was great.  Though I’m not sure at home you’d find a kilogram of msg in the sugar and salt aisle at the grocery store!!!!


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