In most countries masked men surrounding a car ends in soiled drawers. Not in Bangkok. In Bangkok it ends in finger licking. These masked men weave between cars selling delicious bags of deep fried bananas (kuay tod). In the west better known as banana fritters the Thai interpretation is tougher and chewier making use of local plantains. For those new to plantains – they are short, fat bananas, tourists feed them to elephants.
The Masked Men
The masked men are normal Thai folk. Nothing sinister. They wear masks to protect themselves from car fumes. This is normal for many outdoor jobs in Bangkok e.g traffic police, motorbike taxis, construction workers. Bangkok isn’t great with air pollution.
The Kuay Tod Transaction
Sign language. Fanfan puts one finger up to indicate one bag. The masked man puts up two fingers to indicate 20 baht.Wind down the car window, hand over 20 baht, he passes a warm bag of deep fried bananas. The masked man hurries to the next. There is a short space of time before green lights show and the line of cars move on.
Roadside Shop Fronts
The deep fried bananas are sold from roadside shop fronts found near traffic lights. Cooked in batches they are quickly taken to the streets by the masked men and sold hot. The batter is flavoured with flesh of brown coconut (maprao), palm sugar and sesame seeds. Could do with a drizzle of syrup or condensed milk?