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In the Media

article image'Cooking with Poo' — Would the title of the book put you off?

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By Anne Sewell
Apr 1, 2012 in Food
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Bangkok - Cookery book "Cooking with Poo" has won the Diagram Prize for the oddest book title of the year. But the reference to Poo is not what you think it might be. Meet Saiyuud Diwong, a cookery teacher in Bangkok, Thailand.
Poo is "crab" in the Thai language, and is also the nickname of the cookbook's author, Saiyuud Diwong, and as RT says "don't judge a book by its cover".
Diwong runs a community cookery school in a slum area of Bangkok, Thailand. Away from the normal routes, tourists can have a different experience with a tour through Bangkok's largest shanty town. Tens of thousands of the poor work and live in this slum area, which is normally associated with drugs and crime.
Tom yam kung nam khon
Takeaway
Tom yam kung nam khon
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But the area is also home to the cooking school "Cooking with Poo", which has now become a tourist attraction. For $30 tourists get fresh ingredients and lessons in how to cook traditional Thai dishes. Diwong also teaches her secrets in how to enhance the flavors of the food.
Among the traditional dishes taught by Diwong are "tom yum", green curry and "tom kha gai."
Tourists feel that the experience of walking through the slums is something they would not normally experience and they are pleased that their contributions to the cooking lessons are helping the poor in the area.
Ingredients for green curry
Fotoos VanRobin from Netherlands
Ingredients for green curry
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Getting back to the Diagram Prize, Diwong beat all other contenders for the prize with her 114-page cookery book "Cooking with Poo".
Among these are some classic titles such as “The Great Singapore Penis Panic", "The Future of American Mass Hysteria” and “Mr Andoh's Pennine Diary: Memoirs of a Japanese Chicken Sexer in 1935 Hebden Bridge”.
The humor-based literary award has been running in the United Kingdom since 1978, and was first established to entertain guests at the Frankfurt Book Fair.
Some of past winners include: “How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art”; “Oral Sadism and the Vegetarian Personality” and “If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start with Your Legs” .
But seriously, this book sounds like a good buy to experiment with Thai cuisine, or if you are visiting Bangkok, why not sign up for a cooking lesson?
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