Thursday, March 31, 2016

Try the World: Chaidim (lemongrass/pandum), Coconut Crispy Rolls, Coconut Flower Syrup (Thailand Box)

Sometimes the assortment in a "Try the World" box doesn't lend itself well to combining multiple elements at once. In such cases, I often feel that the little guide book tries extra hard to pull more than one ingredient together to form a cohesive whole. In this case, they didn't have to try hard at all.

I should begin by saying that I didn't know what pandum was before I got this box. I chose the tea because I knew it'd be the least familiar. After I smelled it, it was much more familiar as I recognized pandum as one of the most aromatic elements of tom yum soup.

When I tried the tea (Chaidim lemongrass/pandum tea), it was very hard to separate the smell and taste of it from the broth from that soup. It didn't taste like "tea" to me until I sweetened it with the Chiwadi coconut flower syrup. I used one carefully measured teaspoon of the super thick syrup and it transformed the tea into something complex and lightly sweetened. I was a little worried about the syrup because one of the ingredients is coconut vinegar (5%). I didn't know one could make vinegar out of coconut, but I guess you learn new things all of the time if you're trying new food.

The tea still smelled like tom yum broth, but it tasted like flowers and honey spiced with something unidentifiable and exotic. It's a bit like having turmeric in sweets for the first time. It seems a little weird at first, but gets better as you get used to it.

The Virgin Coco Coconut Crispy Rolls were much more approachable. They are like a thick, but very light and crispy sugar cone with three hits of flavor. First, you get orange, then a strong burst of coconut, then the sweetness comes along to bind it all together. They are delicate, but have very present flavor. All in all, a very tasty addition provided that you like coconut (and I do).

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