Friday, October 22, 2010

Green Papayas

We have not been buying many green papayas lately and that makes me suspicious. Thai women eat papaya salad like Americans eat potato salad. Whenever there is a get together one or two people bring the papaya salad, and it's always the same people. Others who volunteer are discouraged from doing so in the future. Papaya salad is serious business!

There are as many ways of making papaya salad as there are ways of making potato salad. There are even more ways of making it wrong. Wrong papaya salad, like bad potato salad, is something to be avoided at all costs.

The correct way of making papaya salad is, of course, the way your mother made it. If your mother did not teach you how to make papaya salad you should probably stick with take out. Papaya salad is not easy to make. In fact, it is the hardest dish to make on True Thai's menu. Which is why I am suspicious.

I am suspicious that maybe our wait staff is not mentioning papaya salad when customers ask for suggestions. They do this as a favor for the kitchen staff who would rather make spring rolls instead of papaya salad.

The truth is papaya salad requires so much time to make I am not sure we really make any money from it, but money is not always the point. Serving good papaya salad is a must for a Thai restaurant. If you do not make good papaya salad, tom yum or pad thai, why would anyone want to come to your restaurant?