Friday, September 18, 2009

Taxi Foliage

I asked my taxi driver about these leaves in the back of his cab assuming he would give me some insight on how monks use them in sacred rituals or how they're supposed to bring luck. Instead the cabbie started talking about food as these leaves are also used in Thai cooking. The leaves come from pandan, a tropical herbaceous plant, and are used in several Thai desserts, drinks, and savory treats. The flavor is sweet and fresh, and very distinct, and it's supposed to be good for your health. If you see a dessert in Thailand that's green in color, there's a chance it may have been made with pandan because the leaves are also used to dye food green. Either that or the dessert has gone bad.