Thailand

From pigs heads to duck, Thai shop offers Chinese New Year treats in jelly

Reuters
From pigs heads to duck, Thai shop offers Chinese New Year treats in jelly

Coconut milk jelly dessert cups in various shapes are displayed ahead of the Chinese new year at Namjai dessert shop in Bangkok, Thailand, January 20, 2022. Picture taken January 20, 2022.

REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

The dessert shop molds coconut milk jelly into grilled duck and steamed chicken, winning over customers with the price and convenience of not having to prepare an expensive Lunar New Year feast

BANGKOK, Thailand – As Thais get ready to celebrate the Lunar New Year, a dessert shop in Bangkok is doing a roaring trade by molding coconut milk jelly into pigs heads, grilled duck, steamed chicken, and other items often served in a traditional feast.

The Namjai dessert shop offers a $27 boxed set of nine items from a typical feast, winning over customers with the price and convenience of not having to prepare a big meal.

Wirawan Montraprasita, owner of Namjai dessert shop, pours a mixture of coconut milk jelly dessert into moulds ahead of the Chinese new year at her shop in Bangkok, Thailand, January 20, 2022. Picture taken January 20, 2022. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

“For me, I live alone and I have to go and search for all the dishes like the pork, chicken, and duck – there’s a lot to buy and it’s too hectic during this time (in the pandemic),” said Naree Boonyakiat, who feels the desserts will also photograph well.

Another customer, Thanabodee Phooncharoen, said the selection was festive, even if the items tasted “like any other typical coconut milk jelly”.

Wirawan Montraprasita, owner of Namjai dessert shop decorates a sycee-shaped coconut milk jelly dessert in ahead of the Chinese new year at her shop in Bangkok, Thailand, January 20, 2022. Picture taken January 20, 2022. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Namjai’s owner, Thanapach Montraprasit, said he has received an “overwhelming” number of enquiries through the store’s social media pages since starting to offer the jellies this month.

On the store’s LINE mobile messenger app alone there had been 400-500 enquiries, he said.

“I think that with a high cost of living now, pork and chicken meat is expensive, the prices have all gone up. So, people have taken more interest,” he said.

As in many countries, the cost of living in Thailand has been rising, with many food items getting more expensive.

Lunar New Year celebrations normally mean a jump in spending, but Thai consumer expenditure over the period this year could hit an 11-year low after a new COVID-19 outbreak, a survey by the University of the Thai Chamber of Commerce showed.

Aside from appealing to cost-conscious buyers, Thanapach said the desserts were also a good way to avoid having leftover food during the holiday period. – Rappler.com