Nam Pla (Thai sauce, 1977)

Bapopik at AOL.COM Bapopik at AOL.COM
Mon Dec 9 07:15:06 UTC 2002

   Thai restaurants are hardly rare in America.  OED probably won't get to "Pad Thai" in my lifetime, but "N" is coming up soon.
   The earliest cookbook under "Cookery, Thai" in the NYPL is EVERYDAY SIAMESE DISHES (1952), and the CATNYP records shows that it's--SURPRISE!--"missing."  It's also the earliest cookbook in the LOC, if it is indeed there.
   There are 4,640 Google hits for "Nam Pla."  "Nam pla" is also included in Sharon Herbst's dictionary on the site.

   2 February 1977, NEW YORK TIMES, pg. 28:
_Thai Cuisine:  Hot, Hot Hot_ by Craig Claiborne
(...)  "Thai cooking," the couple noted, "relies heavily on Chinese and Indian for basic forms and tecniques; it is the pungent condiments such as fish sauce of nam pla; baked curry called nam prik pao and fresh coriander called pakchi that add much.  We also serve a pork satay which is originally Indonesian."

   4 February 1977, NEW YORK TIMES, pg. 54:
_RESTAURANTS: The Exotic Charms of Thailand's Cuisine_ by Mimi Sheraton
(...)  Garlic, scallions, lemon juice and sugar or honey provide a familiar flavor spectrum with surprises coming through such exclusive Thai herbs as balm and grass; the limy rind and leaves of the makrut; horapa--a kind of sweet basil; soy sauce, and a fermented fish sauce, nam pla, that fortunately tastes much better than it smells, uncooked.

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