The quest for spice!

Being with a true Hanoian lady is just like having been with a true “Sofianka” before :)

They are both difficult shoppers! They want to touch and chose every individual potato, grape, fruit, pepper – whatever – they buy on the market! Where I feel ashamed in front of the sales people they become like predators, furies – refusing anything the seller offers them without even looking at it because the are convinced that everyone’s goal is to cheat them…

So, my Vietnamese My wants to buy dried chillies for cooking. But she does not like to buy them in Hanoi because she thinks the people there mix them with low quality additives. But she believes in the local Thai vendors :) Therefore, we went to a local market this morning to find some dried chillies.

On the island they have different locations where they hold a weekly market on different days. Much like in my Bansko area. And depending on how close the markets are to the most densely populated areas the prices are different.

When we checked out the stalls I had my premonitions. This is Muslim county! Sugarland! My was ready to buy a package of 500g at 80 baht (4 leva). I asked the scarfed lady if the chillies were hot (“peth”). She nodded decisively. Me, being a smart cookie myself, strongly My to open the plastic bag and try the chillies before she bought them. We could not communicate this to the vendor, so we simple smiled at the lady and removed the rubber that held the bag tight. And- no big surprise to me- the chillies were boringly mild – and unusable for our type of cooking :)

So, maybe in the end I will have to ask my daughter to bring some hot Thai chillies from Germany when she comes visiting Hanoi in November :)



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