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A true farmer’s market in Chiang Mai

October 30, 2011

Due to the flooding in more southern provinces, including the capital Bangkok, some food items disappear from the super market shelves, and consequently some markets have begun to increase their prices. In such a situation it makes sense to buy food straight from the Chiang Mai farmers, because to them there is no change (they do not depend on a flooded factory in the south, nor transportation on flooded roads).  Some markets simply resell vegetables they bought from wholesale dealers, but some are true farmer’s markets, no middle men.

The Nong Kwai market is situated ten minutes by car from Dokmai Garden, at the intersection between the canal road and the road to Samoeng. It is only open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from about 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. To protect your car I advice you to pay the ten Baht ticket and park behind the market. Not only are the prices ridiculously low, not only are there delicious ready-made food such as BBQ sticks (5 Baht each), papaya salad and deep-fried sesame bread, but a biologist may have a busy time sorting out various exotic jungle plants for sale. To many of the Hmong and Karen living in the foothills along the Samoeng road this insignificant intersection is ‘town’.  I like this market!

Does anyone of Dokmai Dogma’s readers know what fruit this is? The vendor used a village name which did not make sense to the surrounding Thais. Ketsanee and her mother Nived think it is a member of the Burseraceae family, but I suspect an Elaeocarpus. There is a big stone and a thin deep green pulp, not very tasty, but the fruit should be pickled according to the vendor. My book on fruits and vegetables sold in Southeast Asian markets only mentions some 120 species so there is a lot more to discover.

Text & Photo: Eric Danell

5 Comments leave one →
  1. June permalink
    January 13, 2012 4:57 PM

    This fruit is called putsa, putsar or jujube.

    • January 14, 2012 9:22 AM

      Dear June,

      That is a great suggestion and we are happy you contribute to the solution of the ID. Indian Jujube (Ziziphus mauritiana) is another fruit, yellow to red outside with a crispy inside, flavoured like plum. There is a small stone. The unknown fruit is mostly composed of a stone, and there is a thin green pulp.

      You can read more about jujube here:

      Cheers, Eric

  2. September 15, 2012 11:33 PM

    I know what it is now: chebule (Terminalia chebula).

  3. Bill Mosley permalink
    September 18, 2012 11:51 PM

    They are jocotes..also known as mombin.

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