Local food of each community is a kind of language that tells stories of culture and living ways tastefully and straightforwardly. “Local Aroi” is a social enterprise believing in this concept and having a goal to produce local chefs by presenting delicious local dishes from the communities to urban people to taste unique food and embrace various food cultures from local people.
Local Aroi is extended from Local Alike, a social enterprise in form of sustainable Community-Based Tourism. It is found that the trend of community-based tourism is not well known among mainstream tourists. When we travel, we will know local characteristics through performances, arts, cultures, handicrafts as well as local food that hosts provide for visitors to try.
Local Aroi serves local food to you to taste the life in form of Local to Table or Local Cuisine through cooking from the communities who own recipes, raw materials, cultural resources, created and cooked by local chefs to maintain the original taste and provide local food experience from delicious dishes to you with happiness and to perceive charming stories of the community’s cultures.
One of communities that Local Aroi invites to cook a delicious dish in southern-border provinces is youths from Luukrieng Group or Child and Youth for Peace Association, Yala Province, working to remedy youths in the 3 southern-border provinces, who are orphans and lost their Families due to unrest. Luukrieng Group offers opportunity to youths to cross the brutal past and get up to pursue their dreams again.
Children and youths in Luukrieng Group are like seeds to grow in different direction. 3 youths are fond of cooking and they are given a chance and scholarship to study about food. They share knowledge to juniors in the cooking group and it is their pride and encouragement to pass on to their friends and younger members in the southern-border provinces to get up and live with hope every day. It is under a belief that food can heal everything as it can heal mental condition of the children from helping to prepare raw materials, cook, sit around a table, talk and share information, and catch up with each other and have a meal together.
Every dish is from determination of youths to make diners to enjoy. The first dish is salad consisting of Paco fern, watercress, salad vegetables with Indian-style salad dressing with creamy texture of coconut milk and nuts, and spices of southern region, along with scent and savory from fermented fish and littles spiciness at the tip of tongue.
Threadfins are cheap when caught from the sea, but when they are special when they are salted. There are special procedures to make salted threadfins that they shall not be exposed to freshwater because of possibility to be easily rotten. They need to be washed with seawater and kneaded for days to make their flesh softer.
Then, the fish are put into sand as a way of food preservation for better taste and better odor. It is a way to add values to threadfins unexpectedly that its price jumps to 1,700 Baht/ kilogram, and it tends to increase every year.
The first Main Course is Korlae grilled chicken and sticky rice in leaf and fried fish in Dialium sauce and crackers: for Korlae grilled chicken, we use Kaochang chicken, developed from Betong Chicken that we all well know. The good points of Kaochang Chicken are low fat, and chewy skin. It is cooked and topped with southern-style curry sauce in coconut milk, served with sweet creamy sticky rice and Kapor leaves that go along perfectly. For fried fish in Dialium sauce, the fish’s texture is like Saba fish of Japan and dialium sauce is sweet and sour, that go perfectly with crispy fish crackers.
The 2nd main dish is Lasae and crab curry which is southern-style rice noodle made of sticky rice flour and rice flour, mixed together before rolled and steamed then sliced into bite-size pieces. It is served with creamy crab curry, and sprinkled with fried noodle and spicy curry leaves. Lasae flour is perfect with hot and spicy crab curry containing authentic crabmeat that you will enjoy with scent of curry leaves and crispiness of fried noodles
The dessert is Tupasutong which is squid stuffed with sticky rice and topped with coconut and palm sugar sauce, served with Dahlia flower. We may be surprised why squid is cooked as dessert, but this dish is related to cultural context of southern-border provinces because it is a menu item that Malaya Muslim people have during fasting in Ramadan. The delicacy of this dish is from moderate sweet taste and what is hidden in sauce is lemongrass that goes perfectly along with squids stuffed with sticky rice that has mild scent making it even more delicious.
Betong grass jelly and Malay tea: Traditional grass jelly from Betong is another dessert with herbal scent of authentic black grass. It is naturally soft without jelly powder. Malay tea has delicate sweet taste and unique scent with little bit bitterness, served with Caramelized banana, a kind of wild banana from Panangsata, found only in Yala Province. Its flesh is creamy white with little sour taste that goes along well with caramel, and this is the end of delectable and well-made course meal.
If you are interested to reserve delicious meal from the community with chefs from Luukrieng Group and other communities, please visit localaroi.com, or Facebook Page: Local Aroi. Apart from a meal from RX wellness, we also have delivery service to pass our miss from the community to urban people in the situation of COVID outbreak.