Prompted by a review -- of a new book on the cuisine of northern Laos -- that I recently finished writing for ZesterDaily (I'll link it here when it's published, probably within a week), Dave has been sorting through some photos from our excursion last March north from Luang Prabang, where we were working on a few stories for Wall Street Journal Asia, north to Luang Namtha.
Luang Namtha is a weird, complicated, fascinating place that is undergoing rapid change. We haven't posted nearly enough on our days there -- something we plan to remedy shortly.
In the meantime, here's a time-lapse of the making of an interesting snack sold at Luang Namtha's morning market: a cracker (for lack of a better word) made from ground rice cassava flour. Held over hot coals, the initial cracker 'pancake' puffs to several times its original size.
What grabbed us most about this treat -- other than the dexterity that the vendor displays as she turns it back and forth above the cooking fire - was its texture, something akin to cotton candy. 'Light as air' would be an apt description; it dissolves almost immediately on contact with lips and tongue, leaving just a hint of sweetness.
It's also, as the time-lapse shows, a popular pre-school snack for kids lucky enough to pass by the market on their way to class.