On the way to and from Pam Bok Waterfall in Pai, Thailand, there is a farm. Huge cracks in the ground appeared a few years ago (and continue to grow in number) means that the owners can no longer grow as many crops as they used to. With the land deemed worthless and crop production down, this can mean very hard times for a farmer.
In a stroke of genius, they have opened up what is left of their farm to the visitors that pass every day to get to the waterfall. After a day of exploring the nearby hot springs, canyon and waterfall by bike, we stopped by the “crack farm” for a refreshing roselle juice. Roselle are a hibiscus flower that look more like rose hip. If you have had hibiscus juice before, it is similar to that, if not, I guess it tastes like a watered-down glass of cranberry juice.
As the only visitors there and just one table, you really feel like you are guests in someones home. Our friendly, Thai-speaking host brought out dish after dish of fresh local produce for us to feast on and we ate and ate until we could fit no more. As well as roselle juice and roselle wine, there were bananas, mangoes, yams (potatoes), roast peanuts, passionfruit and something I had never tried before: fresh tamarind.
Tamarind pods come from the tamarind tree, which we saw all over Thailand. In a bowl or plastic bag, tamarind doesn’t look very appealing. The brown fruit has the texture of a date, has a seed in each pod segment and tastes sour and a little sweet. The intense flavour reminds me of dried fruits like raisins or dried cranberry. I had seen a pregnant lady snacking on these pods a few days earlier. Tamarind pods are high in B vitamins and calcium so great for the expectant mother.
A tamarind jam was also on offer, this was smeared on slices of cooked potato (though our host called theses “yams”). Who would have thought that jam and yam worked well together?
A sleepy dog and the largest cock I have ever seen provided a little eye candy.
This genuine, foodie experience is by donation only and our lovely host even sent us home with a large bag each of banana and passionfruit.