I think this was called “som moo”, although when I’m dealing with a language which I can’t speak, I mishear things all the time. But I asked what it was and the guy at the stall told me it was pork in a banana leaf. It looked delicious and it sounded delicious, so I ran with it. Opening up my som moo was pretty exciting. It felt like Christmas! Pressies! But imagine the disappointment you’d feel if, on Christmas morning, you expect the gift you’re opening to contain some delicious tender, well-seasoned pork tenderloin but what you really get is a raw fermented (or possibly pickled) piece of pork. Yeah, that’s what this turned out to be.
My dad is a funny man, and there is a story he likes to tell about going to a restaurant when he was a kid. The restaurant, apparently, was terrible and his father had hardly eaten at all. After they left the restaurant, my dad and his sister asked their dad why he’d hardly eaten and his reply was, “Oh, I never knew one bite could be so filling until I ate at that place!” That’s kind of how I feel about som moo.
It’s not that it was bad. To be fair, I think it’s the type of acquired taste that you could grow to really love. But on the first tasting, it just really wasn’t for me. I never knew one bite could be so filling.