Pla Thu Mae Klong
‘Pla Thu’ is a mackerel-like fish, which lives near the seashore. The fish is especially abundant in river mouths. The confluence of river and ocean waters provides nutrients, minerals and plankton, for instance in the Gulf of Thailand. An ideal home for the fish, Samut Songkhram provides the most delicious Pla Thu. In the past, the villagers of Amphoe Mae Klong used a local tool made from bamboo to trap the fish. This bamboo tool was applied to encircle the sea area, as large as a football field. At present, this method has been given up, and Pla Thu is now trapped with huge nets. The fish is abundant from June – January. ‘Pla Thu Nueng’ (steamed Pla Thu) is another delectable Thai dish. 2-3 fish are placed into a round bamboo wicker tray under which water is brought to boil. The fish are steamed to perfection and served with spicy chili dip and vegetables.
Seafood, Khanom Jaak, Rock Salt, Groud Salt
There are also many kinds of seafood products sold at Don Hoi Lot as well as other products such as Khanom Jaak, rock Salt, and ground salt available.
Khlong Khon Shrimp Paste
An ever-present feature of the Thai kitchen, Kapi (shrimp paste) is one of the essential ingredients in Thai food, for instance as curries and chili dips. Shrimp paste is made of Khoei, a very tiny shrimp-like marine creature with small dotty black eyes, and a clear, almost transparent body. Living at the tree roots in the mangrove, Khoei is available in every season. Villagers usually go seek Khoei in the morning, and the wash them and salt them for preservation. The salted Khoei is left overnight, and is then set out to dry in strong sunlight for 2-3 days. Villagers massage the sun-dried Khoei. Eventually, the dough-like Khoei will be packed and sold. Khlone Shrimp Paste is famous because it is produced from top-quality Khoei.
Fertile soil and Fruits
Samut Songkram has many local products and souvenirs to offer visitors. It is a province of fertile soil where various kind of fruits are grown, such as lychees, oranges, grapes, and guavas. Big White pomelos are widely grown in Amphoe Bang Khon Thi.
Coconut Palm Sugar
Along both sides of Mae Klong Bang Pae route, the profession of making home-made palm sugar is quite important. At present, visitors often stop to see the stoves that are used in making palm sugar. There are many kinds of stoves (or Tao) that are used in making palm sugar, such as Tao Waan, Tao Tan Dee, and Tao Thai Derm. In the morning, villagers climb a coconut tree to retrieve coconut nectar collected in containers made from cut-bamboo sections that were hung overnight from the coconut trees. The nectar is boiled in a large pan until it turns brown and dry. The boiling time is between 08.30. 14.00. Some parts of the sugar palm could be made into a fresh palm juice, which is also a famous beverage.