Fish ice cream hooks Thais
A secret syrup holds the key to the fishy ice cream
SINGBURI, Thailand (AP) -- Specialty ice creams can be concocted from soy milk, olive oil and even cheese. But for the truly bizarre, come to central Thailand where a bakery is putting snakehead fish in its frozen desserts.
Kaesara Bakery's ice cream contains 40 percent fish meat, but you wouldn't know it from the smell, taste or texture. The bits of fish could easily be mistaken for coconut flakes.
The bakery in Singburi province, where snakeheads are a culinary pride, is about to open a third outlet and expand its line of snakehead confections with fish cookies and Chinese pastries filled with deep-fried snakehead bones.
The shop's first snakehead product was a sweet-smelling dessert cake baked in a fish-shaped mold. The key was blending four herbs for a secret syrup that eradicates the fishiness.
The cakes have been a hit since their debut at the annual Singburi Snakehead Festival seven years ago. Now the bakery, 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Bangkok, sells some 4,000 cakes during weekends for 150 baht (US$3.50) each.
Kasara Thepprasit, the bakery's 39-year-old entrepreneur, said she declined an Australian company's 30 million baht (US$695,000) offer for her recipe.
"We want Thailand to have a good product that other countries don't have," Kasara said. "We didn't do this just for the money. We wanted to do this to promote Thailand and its food."
The idea to bake cakes out of fish was spawned by her husband, Supot Prasongsuksan, who wanted something special for members of Thailand's much-revered royal family when they visit the province.
The bluebloods generally stop to chat with residents and are showered with gifts of the best local produce.
"Every time the royal family comes here, we give them snakehead fish cake, and they always stop to talk to me," Kasara said. "They tell me that it's good to see Thais being so inventive and creating such strange foods with just local ingredients."