March 14, 2017

Beer Snacks ຂອງແກ້ມເບຍ

Lao Beer Snacks examples 1
(From left to right)  Lettuce, dipping sauce, chopped schallots, ginger, limes, lemon grass, peanuts, galanga.

All around the world, there are generally accepted snacks that are often accompanied while drinking beer.  Perhaps it's salted peanuts where you're from or may be it's pork rinds, pop corn, or crackers?  In Laos, beer snacks take on an interesting twist ranging from spicy, savoury and salty to sour.

Of course the ingredients can vary from place to place but they generally have a similar theme.  As shown here in these two pictures, they're often chopped into small pieces.  They're meant to be packed with intense flavours so that the refreshing quench of the beer calms and cleanses the palette.  Then you repeat the process of munching and drinking.

In Laos we call such beer snack ຂອງແກ້ມເບຍ / kong gehm beeah.  It loosely translates to "stuff to accompany beer" aka beer snacks.  So if you walk into a Lao restaurant and you just want beer and snacks, you'd say ເບຍ ແລະ ຂອງ ແກ້ມ / beeah leh kong gehm / beer and snacks.

Lao Beer Snacks examples 2
 (From top, clockwise)  Chopped red onions, ginger, chili peppers, lime, fresh betel leaves, dried mini shrimps, peanuts, and meat that's been cooked, dried and pulverized.  (Center) Dipping sauce.

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