Around this time last year, I met with some of my friends who are part of Dill Magazine to talk about something I had wanted to see for a long time: a story on Thai relishes, nam phrik. These dishes form the most significant segment of Thai cuisine, but they’re the least understood and the least appreciated. I thought it was about time this changed.
Western food media doesn’t like to publish a story like this. It’s too niche. It doesn’t have a broad appeal. For them, it doesn’t make sense to dedicate their precious real estate on something most people don’t already know and love. Nam phrik, therefore, hasn’t received a lot of coverage in mainstream publications, and when it does, the coverage doesn’t go deep and is often rife with misinformation.
I took the idea to Dill, because of this. I wanted to see a story on nam phrik; I wanted it written with competence, understanding, and insight; and I knew the group behind Dill was capable of pulling this off. Even though they’re new and small and don’t have the resources of a large publication, they don’t shy away from specialized materials. I also know the Dill people don’t present niche stories in a “hey, look at the bizarre foods these other people eat!” manner either. In other words, I knew this story would be in good hands. Continue Reading →