Friday, 19 February 2016

Hunting for food

Hunting for food

There is some special food that is not widely available, I have to buy it at the few places where it is available.

From top to bottom, left to right: physalis, kumquat, mao berry juice, pumpkin chips, sala loy gaew.

Physalis (the Thai call them cape gooseberry เคพกูสเบิร์รี due to their origin from South Africa), slightly sour taste.

Kumquat ส้มกัมควอท or ส้มจี๊ด
somchíd or ส้มกืมจ๊อ look like mini oranges, but slightly sour taste and can be eaten with peel. Label: Thanaton Orchard สวนส้มธนาธร I spotted them by chance at a market in Ramkhamhaeng, as an ingredient for salad and asked staff where they bought them. Haven't seen them anywhere else (checked Klong Toey, Nang Loeng, Bobe market).

Physalis and kumquat keep 2 weeks in refrigerator (check if there are any rotten before storing). They come from Chiang Mai province and are available during cold season.

Availability and prices:

Physalis 500 g for 100 Baht in Narathiwat Ratchanakarin Soi 5, Silom Soi 7 (Narathiwat end) (both close to sky bridge of BTS Chong Nonsi), On Nut (between Sukhumvit and Big C On Nut), Nang Loeng market, Chinatown (2nd hand information), Makro Ladprao, Doi Inthanon roadside.

Kumquat 500 g 25 Baht Makro Ladprao (only place I know). Those I bought on 15.02.2016 seemed to be the same batch as those from 25.01.2016, and there were only two bags left on 15.02.

Mao berry juice 200 ml 35 Baht OTOP shop Sakon Nakon. Sometimes spelled mulberry มัลเบอรี่, the plant used to feed silk caterpillars.

Pumpkin chips (don't remember where exactly I bought them, Khlong Padung Krung Gasem floating market?).

Sala loy gaew สละลอยแก้ว glass with total 470 g contents 100 Baht Tourism Fair Lumpini Park January 2016. From Chantaburi province. (I tried to remove the label, but glue is insoluble in water.)

No physalis or kumquat in:
Max Value Gateway Ekkama, Foodland Patpong, Makro Narathiwat, Big C Saphan Khwai.

I would be grateful if readers could point out where I can get any of those above.

For my favorite food from England and Germany see here:

Update: In Chumpon (bus stop at highway) I had fragrant banana cake เด็กกล้วยหอม, which was delicious. Would like to get this in Bangkok as well. 

Update 5jan2017: physalis 300 g 69 THB and kumquat 500 g (no price, probably 25 THB) in Makro Narathiwas Ratchanakarin.

I had significant losses (about 30%) of physalis bought on street market (Nov 2016 to Jan 2017) to mildew. Best to take them out of the bag and discard rotten ones, and spread the others and check regularly.

Update 14jan2017: physalis 300 g 89 THB (reduced from 99) and kumquat 500 g 29 THB in Tops at corner Sathorn / Narathiwas Ratchanakarin (near Chong Nonsi BTS).

Copyright 2016 ChristianPFC


  1. Dear Christian, you said no physalis (my god, sounds like a std) at bigC in Saphan Khwai, but actually just last week I saw them sold on the busy sidewalk the short stretch between the BTS and bigC, on the same side of the street, only a step or two before/after the entrance to the Paolo hospital. And I swear I do see them (along with kumquat) occcasionally in my neighborhood of Ramkhamheang though I can't remember exactly which nook or corner because I have never eaten them and they seem to be more of a condiment type of food than fruit. Now you've got me curious...(as always;-) Anyway you have to go back and scour the tiny talad sod tucked away right behind the busy Ram front, as you descend the saphan loy on the opposite side of bigC, look for a little alley that leads you to the market. Its one remarkable feature is the minuscule Chinese buddhist temple overlooking the front "stage" of the market, where I believe they occasionally hold wakes in the evening. Beautiful, a "real thing" that never fails to take my breath away.(also try soi 29 while you're in the area).
    Mao berry juice can be found I believe at health food stores. There is a big one (co-op style, with prices to match, meaning very cheap) on Narawin rd (bus 71)that friends took me to last week. I saw rows upon rows of maoberry juice bottles there. Look for a big vegetarian food canteen that opens onto the street, one peculiar thing is that it looks like the customers wash their own dishes after meal - or maybe it's the volunteers doing that, but you see the activity and scratch your head asking why? Otherwise go to one of the Golden Place health food chains and I'm sure you would find at least one of the above items that you are searching.
    Good luck and keep well!

    1. I was referring to the fruit/vegetable in Big C (or all the other supermarkets I mentioned), not street market outside.

      There is only one Big C in Ramkhamhaeng, opposite Soi 24, I will have look next time I'm there during market hours (most of my time in Ramkhamhaeng is around midnight for Farose 2 and Seed).

      typo Narawin -> Nawamin. Have never been in Nawamin, but yesterday straight acquaintances asked me to invite them to a disco/karaoke there (didn't understand the name). A bit far.

  2. Saw the cape gooseberries at lai Lai sap market in Feb...

  3. Talking about delicious food available in Thailand,
    one can buy high quality Russian black caviar from . They currently develop beluga farm in Hua Hin. Hopefully, locally produced black caviar will be available soon. And I cannot leave without my regular dosage of good quality black caviar.

  4. Update: two sightings of physalis in Klong Toey market (130 Baht / kg, elsewhere in Bangkok I paid 100 Baht / 500 g). Pumpkin chips and sala loy gaew available at Klong Padung Krung Gasem market. Sala loy gaew was in plastic cans, some not sterile and started fermenting and evolution of gas. Can bulged and heard explosion when the lid yielded, but saw the cause only later. The fermented didn't smell bad so I tried: it tastes delicious, a hint sour and evolves gas like soda water. On Tue 15.03.2016 no physalis on both places on Narathiwat, but got pysalis and kumquat in Makrao Ladprao.

  5. More good news from the fruit and vegetable front: 24.03.2016 physalis and kumquat available at Klong Toey market (albeit at kumquat 35 Baht for 500g, whereas in Makro Ladprao 25 in Jan and Feb and 19 in Mar, all same producer). First sighting of rambutan (70 Baht / kg). First sighting of mangosteen in South Pattaya Market on 21.03.2016, at 200 - 250 Baht / kg I will wait a bit.

  6. I just found that radish is sold in Thailand:

  7. First kumquat in Makro Ladprao (two weeks ago none), still a bit green but taste ok. Physalis has been available for some weeks now.


Comments are currently unmoderated and open to everyone. I will see how this works out and might switch to moderation. Please sign your comment with a name or identifier.