Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Food Pairings – Stewed Duck w/ 2001 Xiaguan Toucha

Don Wai riverside market offers great food and a wonderful ambiance. One of the oldest and most popular raft restaurant situated by the river is Ped Palo Nai Nub which translates to "Mr Nub's Stewed Duck with Chinese Blended Spices".

I love the uniqueness and energy to be found at a local Thai market. Each market has its own personality that becomes all the more lively during peak hours when the buzz of activity from the interactions of excited shoppers, sellers and other market forces drum up to a crescendo. For diversity, excitement, unforeseen happenings and sheer entertainment the local market beats the standard uniformity of walking the straight and tidy aisles of a supermarket hands down.

The small restaurant Ped Palo Nai Nub has been stewing great duck for over 30 years.

The Xiaguan toucha is rock hard. Extra care needs to be exercised to prevent accidents and injuries from occurring. The tip of the needle should always be directed away from you.

As many puerh enthusiasts are aware the compression of the Xiaguan toucha is very much on a par with an iron teacake. The super tight compression makes chipping away at the tea a messy process. Whilst this 2001 toucha has loosened to some extent accessing the leaves still generates a clutter. That said, drinking this tea is a rewarding experience. This toucha is aging well with emerging characters of wood spice and a warming citrus note that reminds me of orange marmalade coming to the fore. The background provides an interplay of florals, tobacco, some astringency combined with citrus sweetness. Did I mention that this tea makes an excellent pairing with stewed duck? The citrus/orangy note from the tea combined with succulent pieces of duck in a sweet, dark soy sauce infused with spices ... superb!

Additional Information: Don Wai market makes for a pleasant day trip over the weekend. The market is located on the western side of Bangkok on the way to Nakhon Pathom. The market is known for selling seasonal local fruits and vegetables (some of which are quite rare) and a wide variety of traditional Thai dessert as well as other foods. The market is a foodie’s paradise for those wanting to explore and enjoy the local cuisine.

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