Sweet Chilli Rice Crackers, inspired by flavours of Ratchaburi, Thailand
I don’t think I’ve ever been to quite such an astonishing place as Thailand. It was my first visit to South-East Asia, and what a trip it was! The hustle and bustle of this wonderful country was both a shock and a wonder, and nothing encapsulated this outstanding combination as well as the local markets, in one of which I found myself one evening.
Walking through the endless streets of market stalls, selling everything from hand-crafted garments to the finest local cuisine, the first thing that struck me were the multitudes of different aromas. Each food stall had several different scents that struck you as soon as you walked past, all mingling together to create a mouth-watering concoction of aromas. One aroma that truly stimulated your senses was that of sweet chilli, stemming from a stall selling fresh chilli rice crackers.
Ever a snack-food connoisseur, I paused to inspect the offerings. Vibrant colours of deep orange greeted my eye, and the mouth-watering sweet-chilli smell grew stronger and stronger. Offered a small sample, I gave it a try: the taste certainly did the smell justice. The perfect combination of chillies and spices that tingled my tongue produced a gentle, lingering heat, one that was by no means overpowering, but just enough to let you know it’s there. Complemented by the crunchy texture of the rice cracker, I found this snack so exceptionally moreish, it was impossible to resist buying some more for later. I have to say, I’ve tasted many different chilli-based snacks in my time, but none were quite as memorable as this.
Continuing my stroll through the packed market streets, I found myself wondering whether these rice crackers would be a good addition to my growing snack range. The sweet chilli, creating the terrific warm flavours on the tongue, is so distinctive, I was convinced my friends & customers back home would find them as moreish as I did!
Finding that I agreed with this idea, I paused to take out my trusty notebook, and began a new heading: Mr Filbert’s Sweet Chilli Rice Crackers.