Hans Fritschi takes you along his weird recent trip from Bangkok to Zurich. Travelling in Covid 19 times is a strange experience. The main Bangkok airport is almost deserted, a ghostly walk along luxury shops without the least customers. Swiss flight LX0181 on the other hand is fully booked being one of the very few opportunities to travel from closed Thailand to Switzerland. It is presently unclear when Hans Fritschi can return to Thailand, since the Kingdom still does not allow foreigners in.
For urgent personal reasons Hans Fritschi leaves Thailand for his hometown Zurich. He bides farewell to deserted Dongtan or Jomtien Beach where normalcy has not returned yet. Never in living memory has this famous Pattraya Beach been emptier. Thailand has still closed the borders and foreign tourists are not allowed into the country due to fear of Covid 19. It is thus unclear when Hans Fritschi and others can return to Thailand, it could take months.
Before you can smoke ham you have to cure the raw meat with nitrate salt, bay leaves, garlic and water for ten days in the refrigerator. Hans Fritschi uses all kinds of exotic woods from his Botanical Garden to finally smoke a leg of pork and three pieces of collar to perfection. This is easy, great fun and a very tasty experience.
Our many geese at Discovery Garden Pattaya have started to lay eggs again. We steal them from their nests and replace those with plastic eggs filled with water. The hopefully fertile eggs are brought to our incubator and watched closely. As soon as a perspective mother goose gets broody and sits permanently on her plastic eggs, we bring back the real eggs that have started to develop new life. We get many more goslings that way, because the infertile eggs are sorted out and the fertile ones are protected from enemies in the early stages of the breeding process.
There are not enough garbage bins in our street in Pattaya. Too many people deposit their waste in our bin which then overflows. For the stray dogs this is a feast, they tear apart all those garbage bags and create a perfect mess. We try to build a useful garbage container to keep out those messy dogs.
Many Iguanas can be explored at Discovery Garden Pattaya. Those antique lizards are pure vegetarians and are no danger to our geese. They just walked in one day and made their home in our Thai Botanical Garden. We leave those beautiful ancient creatures alone and protect them from Thai hunters who would like to eat the so called “bamboo chicken”. Not native to Southeast Asia Iguanas have long been naturalized in Thailand.
The Peanut butter fruit looks a bit like a cherry tomato, but it tastes much more sweet. As the popular name of the Bunchosia argentea suggests, its delicate little fruits taste exactly like Peanut butter. It is easy to grow from seeds and seedlings quickly rise and bear fruits. We grow Peanut butter plants at Discovery Garden Pattaya and Nong Khai.
We are back at Discovery Garden Pattaya and decide to make a delicious Italian seafood salad mostly based on local ingredients. We want to use our Chinese olives and Yellow lemons from the garden. The seafood we buy at the local seafood market in North Pattaya. The end result is a delicious Thai-Italian fusion seafood salad.
My Thai family and friends love to eat my meat cakes. First we produce a meat filling for our stuffed Croissants. It consists of local beef, ham, bacon, mushrooms, herbs and spices. When cold, this mass is stuffed into our fluffy pastry dough we bought locally. The Croissants are then carefully baked at 180 degrees Celsius to perfection. We eat those delicious meat Croissants with great Butter head salad “Mimosa”.
Without grass there would be no spicy beef salad or Larb. First of all the cows eat it the stuff and turn it into meat. The sticky rice traditionally served with Larb belongs to the grass family as well as the roasted rice in the beef salad. And even the boiled bamboo shots are – biologically spoken – members of the grass family. Hans Fritschi has just planted Black bamboo at Discovery Garden Nong Khai whereas the Golden bamboo has longer been rooted at this Northeastern Thai Botanical Garden.