Posted by: adventuressetravels | September 14, 2012

Thai Ice Cream

Ice Cream is probably my favorite dessert.  I find it particularly   fascinating because it differs so much from country to country.  Yes, I may be using the term “ice cream” loosely, really to encompass most frozen desserts.  But the truth is that not all countries have equal access to cows and milk.  Sure, not all ice cream is created equal, but I like to judge each country’s frozen desserts on their own merits.  Besides, not all of the best “ice cream” is made from “cream”

In fact, one of my favorite store bought “ice creams” in the state is Coconut Bliss, a scrumptious brand of coconut cream ice cream.

When I came to Thailand, I wasn’t expecting much as far as ice cream.  I’d certainly never seen ice cream featured on the menu at Thai restaurants in the States.  Thai iced tea sure, but Thai ice cream? To my surprise and delight I found that not only did Bangkok have ice cream stands on the street, but they had two of the most unique and exciting takes on the dessert I had seen.

I adore ice cream sandwiches, but Thailand’s take on this dessert seem like a someone heard the term “ice cream sandwich,” knew what a sandwich was, knew what ice cream was so decided to sell them based on what he thought it should be.  Small stands along the road throughout Thailand serve a couple scoops of ice cream between two slices of soft supermarket quality white bread.

I am not a fan of the bread, but the delicious part is that these stands also offer little scoops of sweet sticky rice in the ice cream sandwich.  It’s delicious, almost an unassembled version of do-it-yourself ice cream mochi.  So I just pick my way around the wonder bread and enjoy the other parts of this dessert.

But though the ice cream sandwiches are a curiosity, they are far from my favorite ice cream dessert in Thailand.  Throughout Bangkok, women in stands piled high with baby coconuts sell coconut ice cream.  For 20-30 Baht (70 cents- $1) the women hack open a coconut with a huge butcher’s knife, and pour the coconut water into a cup.  Then they scrape out the meat, and fill the shell with delicious coconut ice cream.  With a flourish they top the creation with the coconut meat and sprinkle it with peanuts.  Even better, the vendors often throw in a glass of coconut water to drink with your dessert.

At Chatuchak market in Bangkok, there are quite a few of these stands but sadly they don’t sell the whole coconut experience, just the ice cream in a little bowl.  Alas, this was the only place I didn’t have my hands full with a huge delicious baby coconut to eat and was able to get photos.  The market ice cream is still good, just not quite as fun, exciting or tasty as having your bowl hacked open in front of you.

With the sauna-like temperatures in Thailand, ice cream, or some sort of frozen dessert, is almost a necessary part of life.   The next time you make it to Thailand make sure to keep your eye out for street vendors and relish the ice cream experience of Southeast Asia.

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Responses

  1. Apicture of te coconut lady would have been appreciated. Shoot first, buy later.


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