Finding a good butcher shop in Bangkok may not mean finding the best prices on meats and poultry. For many people, it simply means finding the best variety of products.
For many Thais, the primary protein sources are eggs, chicken, duck, fish, and pork. But foreigners are used to including beef and lamb in their diets. Until fairly recently, the lack of these meats in many of the markets in Bangkok means foreigners usually resorted to eating these meats only in foreign restaurants.
But for many foreign diners, the high prices that these meats commanded in the restaurants of Bangkok forced them to do without these meats altogether.
Comforts of Home-cooked Food
For many foreigners, these meats represent comfort as well as a source of protein. For many Americans, nothing reminds them of the home so much as meat-loaf and gravy made with fresh-ground beef or a pot roast.
To the British, there are few foods as comforting as a hearty shepherd’s pie made with fresh minced lamb. A roasted leg of lamb for the Christmas holiday is also a must-have for many British, Australian and American families.
For these families to have to eat these meals only in a restaurant doesn’t do justice to the whole family experience and tradition. It also doesn’t allow them to cook their favorite family recipes for these meals.
Growing Popularity of Foreign Food
At one point in Thailand, the kitchens didn’t include an oven, as they were not a requirement for Thai dishes. But the tastes of the Thai palates began to expand to include western food, and the number of foreign ex-pats in Bangkok grew as well. Suddenly, you began to see more and more real estate developers, including an oven in their kitchen of new luxury condos and homes.
Even when the homes don’t include an oven, you’ll find free-standing ovens for sale at all the Bangkok home appliance stores these days. Many of them are deluxe models with high-tech features that were unheard of in Thailand a generation ago.
The growing popularity of this amenity that’s an essential requirement of western kitchens has encouraged Thais to continue to expand their palates. With the exploration and expansion of palates and tastes across Bangkok, there has naturally been an explosion in the variety and quality of ingredients in the butcher shops in Bangkok as well.
There’s a natural inclination to try and replicate a particularly excellent meal that you’ve had in a restaurant. The continually expanding list of available meats and poultry choices at some of the better butcher shops in Bangkok, plus the growing availability of ovens in the homes of Thailand, means that Many homesick ex-pats can whip up their favorite comfort foods regularly.
Foods that used to be found only in high-priced foreign restaurants in Bangkok are now available to everyone to prepare in their homes. And many Thais are become as well-versed in the preparation of a fine Boeuf Bourguignon, as they are in an exquisite Tom Yom Goong.