On another John Powers recommendation, I traveled uptown via Skytrain. After three painfully long-winded missteps, precipitated by bad advice from the women at my hotel front desk, my sojourn was salvaged by a boy selling goldfish outside Jatujak Weekend Market, who drew me a rudimentary but effective map. Minutes later I was staring at the entrance to Or Tor Kor market.
Hundreds of stalls mainly held fruit, including bins of mangosteens. For years, I’ve been reading articles about the mangosteen, a perpetual contender for the title of World’s Greatest Fruit. It’s been banned for years in the States — something having to do with irradiation. When I arrived in Bangkok, there was a fruit basket at my hotel, which included a lot of indigenous fruits, including the mangosteen. Sadly, the basket must have been there for weeks, and the fruits weren’t up to par. Thankfully, I made amends at this stand, where the mango-like white flesh was infinitely sweeter and more luscious than its namesake orange counterpart.
Some cooked pork preparations looked interesting, though triple-digit temperatures and unrefrigerated pork didn’t inspire me to partake.
This stall sold big crates of live crabs with their claws bound.
I’d eaten lychees in the States, but never at the source, and never from the rind. Unsurprisingly, the fruit tasted better when it didn’t endure canning or a boat ride across the Pacific.
I cracked open the lychee to reveal the tropical fruit’s sweet white flesh and hard seed.
I also enjoyed consuming lychee’s football shaped cousin: longan.
The spiky red fruit known as the rambutan was another hit. Once you bypass the spiky outer shell, the fruit was surprisingly similar to the lychee, and worth the potential prickling.
The only fruit I didn’t enjoy was this rose apple, which was was too fibrous.
There were also fish, all manner of Thai desserts, including Thai tacos, and stalls devoted just to garlic, spices and grains.
By walking Or Tor Kor’s aisles, I was able to satisfy my curiosity and contribute to my culinary education. Overall: a worthwhile adventure.