I love it when people get crazy, geeky and passionate about food. Thai food expert and author Naam Pruitt, recently emailed in response to a remark I made about Thai palm sugar in the Sriracha chile sauce recipe. She said that the Thai palm sugar imported into the United States was cheap and terrible and that she'd send me some artisanal palm sugar that she regularly brings back from Thailand. Naam was a Thai woman on fire — stand back!
My mother didn't raise no fool and I immediately replied by providing my address. She was practically just as fast with sending the sugar as yesterday, I got a priority mail delivery that was unusually heavy. It was from Naam, who unbeknowst to me resides in Missouri (Asian people are everywhere!!!). Inside was a copy of her charming cookbook, Lemongrass and Limes, and a kilo (2.2 pounds) slab of sugar as soft as cookie dough. I could spoon it up, as you can see here:
I dug into the sugar and ate small chunk. The buterscotch and caramel flavor, along with the texture, reminded me of dulce de leche. Wow. It's a little strange to eat chunks of sugar but the Thai palm sugar that Naam sent was like candy. I ended up adding a bit to some fermented Sriracha that I was making and it was exactly what the sauce needed. I've not had a chance to cook from Naam's book but I surely have the right sugar!
Do any of you have experience or knowledge of it? I'd written in the past of palm sugar, including artisanal Malaysian and Indonesia gula Melaka and gula jawa that Robyn of EatingAsia sent. Folks, what about the Thai stuf?