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Jan 30, 2012

Odorless durian raises a stink

image from Posttoday

Thomas Fuller
The International Herald Tribune
Friday, March 30, 2007
TUNG PHAEN, Thailand: You can take the sugar out of soft drinksand the fat from junk food. But eliminate the pungent odor from the world's smelliest fruit and brace for a major international controversy. After three decades of research, a Thai government scientist working at an orchard here near the Cambodian border says he has managed to take the stink out of durian. The spiky Southeast Asian fruit, variously described by its detractors as smelling like garbage, moldy cheese or rotting fish, is banned from many hotels, airlines and the Singapore subway. But durian lovers, and there are many in Asia, are convinced that, like fine French cheeses, the worse the smell, the better the taste. Songpol Somsri, one of the world's leading experts on the fruit, crossed more than 90 varieties, many of them found only in the wild, and came up with what he calls Chantaburi No. 1, after his home province and the location of the research center. The specially bred durian smells as inoffensive as a banana, Songpol says. It will please Thai consumers, he believes, and might also help broaden the acceptability of the durian, unlocking the door to American and European customers who, like an increasing number of Thais, would reject a fruit that smells like last season's unwashed gym socks. "Most Thais don't like too strong a smell, except some old people," Songpol said in an interview at his office cluttered with reports on durian DNA structure (he has not yet pinpointed the malodorous gene). Durian lovers are horrified by the prospect of a no-smell durian. They complain that the fruit, which is green or sometimes yellowish and shaped like a rugby ball, is being homogenized just like the insipid tomatoes bred to look pretty behind cellophane on supermarket shelves. "Oh, no, this is the beginning of the end," said Bob Halliday, a Bangkok-based food writer, when told about the odorless durian. The fruit has not yet been officially unveiled by Thailand's Ministry of Agriculture but will obtain final approval in the coming weeks, officials say. "Making a non-smelly durian is like a thornless rose," Halliday said. "It's really cutting out the soul." The no-smell durian is even more mystifying to those who live in Malaysia, Singapore or Indonesia, where durians are prized for their odor and priced accordingly. "The smell must come out from the durian," said Chang Peik Seng, owner of the Bao Sheng durian farm on the Malaysian island of Penang, as he emphasized the "must." "You cannot hide the smell." It took several minutes to explain the concept to Chang, who ultimately concluded that an odorless durian would flop in his country. "If the durian doesn't have a strong smell the customer only pays one-third the price," he said. (Songpol says he has developed a separate durian that might please Malaysians and Indonesians: Chantaburi No. 3 is pungent, but the fruit only begins to smell three days after being picked, allowing for odorless transport.) There is probably no other fruit that elicits such passion and revulsion. The litany of legends and myths surrounding what Malaysians call the "king of fruits" is long and colorful. Durians are said to be an aphrodisiac: When the durians fall, the sarongs fly up, goes a Malay saying. But woe to those who overindulge. Rarely does durian season - which in central Thailand begins in April and continues till June - pass without newspapers somewhere in Southeast Asia reporting a durian death. The fruit, which is rich in carbohydrates, protein, fat and sulfurous compounds (thus the smell), is said here to be "heaty," and can therefore be deadly for those with high blood pressure, according to Wilailak Srisura, a nutritionist at Thailand's Department of Health. Tradition also dictates that mixing alcohol with durian should be avoided at all costs. "Durian makes you hot and alcohol makes you hot, so it's double heat," said Somchai Tadchang, the owner of a durian orchard on Kret, an island on the Chao Phraya river north of Bangkok, where special Gan Yao (long stem) durians sell for upwards of $40 a fruit, the equivalent of several days' wages for a laborer here. Songpol says he has not found a scientific reason why durian and alcohol are incompatible, but would not dare consume both at the same time. He claims to have recently cut back on his personal durian consumption for health reasons ("Fat!" his secretary exclaims), but his work requires him to taste 1,000 durians each season at the research orchard here. Born and reared in a durian orchard, Songpol started studying the fruit in 1977 as a graduate student in horticulture. Worried that some durian varieties were disappearing as cultivation was becoming increasingly commercialized, Songpol collected dozens of varieties from around Thailand and planted them at the Chantaburi Horticultural Research Center, which now serves as sort of a Thai durian seed bank. The center is a horticultural Eden with flower beds and streams rimming the rows of experimental durian trees that are shadowed by nearby low-lying, jungle-covered mountains. Songpol experimented with hundreds of different combinations before discovering Chantaburi No. 1, a cross between the Montong and Chanee varieties, the most common found in Thailand today. It's difficult to believe that any durian would be completely without odor, especially after being cracked open. This year's harvest is not yet ripe, but those who have smelled and tasted last year's say the fruit had a very faint odor. Saowanee Srisuma, the caretaker of the durian orchard here, says it is the least-smelling durian she has encountered in her 10 years of work on the farm. Suchart Vichitrananda, the director of Horticulture Research Institute where Songpol works, says Chantaburi No. 1 does not smell but he hesitates when describing the taste. "I can't say it's better than the original durian, but it'll do." Songpol's plan is to replace the Chanee, which farmers have a difficult time selling because of its stronger smell, and plant one million seedlings of the no-smell durian over the next five years, covering about 6,400 hectares, or 15,810 acres, an area slightly larger than Manhattan. Exporters are enthusiastic. "It's a very good idea," said Kiattisak Tangchareonsutthichai, owner of Thai Hong, a company that exports about 2.5 million kilograms, or 2,755 tons, of durian a year to China. "It's an opportunity for us to export more to new markets that don't like the strong smell." But the fear of many durian lovers is that the odorless variety is just another step toward the erosion of durian culture. Durians are a social fruit, traditionally sold on the roadside and eaten by groups of friends sitting on cheap plastic stools, the ubiquitous furniture of Southeast Asian outdoor food stalls. Each fruit is analyzed in the same way that wine is sniffed and discussed at a Parisian dinner party. Also like wine, durian culture dictates that if the customer tastes it and does not like it, he can send it back. As the region modernizes, durian culture, too, is changing. Durians are increasingly sold cut up under plastic wrap in supermarkets. In Thailand, which has aggressively commercialized the fruit, farmers specialize in Montong, a sweet, almost saccharine, and easy-to-eat variety. Thai farmers use chemicals to coax durian trees to bear fruit in the off-season, so Montong are available year-round and are sold around the world. Thailand last year sold about 50 million durians abroad, worth about 3.2 billion baht, or $90 million. Durian traditions are perhaps strongest in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia. Malay durians, many of them known only as "kampung," or country village varieties, are typically more wild, unpredictable, sometimes bitter and almost always pungent. "To anyone who doesn't like durian, it smells like a bunch of dead cats," said Halliday, the food writer. "But as you get to appreciate durian, the smell is not offensive at all. It's attractive. It makes you drool like a mastiff." Thailand's Montong, by contrast, has a largely uniform, bubble gum- like flavor. The growing rift between Thailand and its southern neighbors is probably best summed up by the way the fruit is harvested: In Thailand's more efficient, standardized and productive system, durians are cut from trees and sometimes frozen for export. Malaysian and Indonesian farmers wait until the durians fall, often setting up nets to catch the fruit to avoid its cracking on impact. The nets also ensure that the durians, which grow on tall trees, do not fall on someone's head, a painful prospect given the fruit's extremely sharp spikes. Songpol says he is also trying to breed a thornless durian by crossin varieties from the southern Philippines. "I hope in the next two to three years we will get a flower," Songpol said. For lovers of durian - which gets its name from "duri," the Malay word for thorn - this is too much to bear. "You might as well be eating watermelon," Halliday said. Pornnapa Wongakanit contributed reporting from Bangkok.

Chote Chitr

You know how your mind conjures up - CHOTE CHIT
 inflated images of people when you’re really excited about
meeting them? I used to get that way about chefs.
I remember going to Bouley for the first time, walking down that intrepid alley and into the bustling kitchen with great hopes of working alongside a true genius. It was an amazing place, 25 headstrong cooks, extremely serious and insanely dedicated. Every day I'd ask if I was hired and for the opportunity to speak with Bouley. "Just come back tomorrow" I was told. I did so for three weeks and one day I just started getting a check. ‘Til this day, my only interaction with Bouley was "Kim, two crab to the pass".
Charlie the sous corrected him, "chef, it's Tim"; "yeah right, Kim let's go". About 10 months ago I read a chapter about Bangkok in a Jeffrey Stiengarten book. He was shown around Thailand by Bob Halliday, the food critic for the Bangkok Post. I started to get those images of Bob taking me to little hidden food stalls and underground markets. So, I e-mailed him. Everyday I checked, for five months, but no answer. I'd long since given up hope, when in Vietnam I was on a phone interview with some restaurateurs back in NYC and Bob's name came up.
I got a new address and this one worked. I came back to Bangkok, in part, to hook up with Bob. I woke up on the early side and ran down the street of Phra Athit to the pay phone. It was already getting hot and the booth was sweltering. "Hi Bob, it's Tim." "Oh yes, so you’re from NYC. I was there a year ago." Trying to name drop, I ask "did you eat at Vong or 66?" "No I didn't. I've found Thai food outside of Thailand lacks its true flavors". “Well, I think we'd all agree on that, but you can't think of it as Thai food, it's an interpretation and sometimes it's better." "Better? How could it be better than an authentic dish that has been passed down through many generations?" "Better technique, better fish and meat and in the right hands a deeper understanding of evoking flavors". Now, this conversation happened awhile ago, so it's been through the wash a few times -- Bob, I'm trying to get your part right. Bob sighs, better technique, deeper understanding, these are words of war. He explains to me that Thai food is about balance: the harmony of harsh and pungent ingredients with a myriad of spices. The "Rot Chart", meaning the proper or appropriate taste, comes from a great understanding of these ingredients and the methods used to bring them to life. It's a high wire act; the bitter, sour, hot, salty and sweet are all interwoven into an exquisitely complex cuisine. I can't lose that quickly, so I change up my approach: "every cuisine is fusion it's all evolved from the melding of new ingredients and influences from other countries". Bob counters with "that's cultural evolution not some chef's arbitrary decision. I've lived here for 35 years and have developed a palate for the way dishes and ingredients should taste, I don't enjoy them any other way". We pick a time and place to meet and agree to disagree. Bob is an amazing man, as gentle and sweet as the evening breeze and as knowledgeable and astute as anyone I've ever met. It's such a pleasure to be in his company. He was born and raised in NY and reminds me of a guy you'd find on a park bench on the Upper West Side -- well read, a bit upper class, hyper-intelligent, but with the spirit of someone down in the Village. BOB AND HIS COOKBOOKS He's retired from being the food critic and now writes reviews of classical music and movies; his CD and DVD collection is immense: from classical to esoteric, experimental stuff like John Cage, a guy who once recorded a piano piece of him sitting at the piano but not playing it. This is a good example of why food can't be art. If it was, you could have a chef's table where nobody got to eat. Surfing through his DVD collection, I find a rare copy of 19 plays by Samuel Becket performed by cinema directors and famous actors. We watch a few plays and it sails over my head like Concord jet. I grew up in this sort of environment, my mother a classical violinist and my Dad scientist/psychologist, culture and brains were all around the house, I just preferred to play outside. Our first meal was at Chote Chitr, a little restaurant on the edge of Ko Ratanakosin. Its little streets, canals and food shops are so charming, you forget you’re in noisy Bangkok. Like all the places you go with Bob, he's greeted like an old friend. Fluent in Thai, he orders about seven dishes; a few highlights were Shrimp Mee Krob, sweet, sour and spicy goodness, a grilled eggplant salad with lemongrass, lime and mint, its smoky tones harmonizing with the lively flavors of red shallots and dried shrimp. And, a salad of banana flower and shrimp, where the dense texture of the banana leaves made the shrimp even more voluptuous, both delicately tossed with rich chili paste, fermented shrimp, lime and palm sugar. Bob runs next door to the Mango Sticky Rice and Sweet Shop that is supposedly the best in the city and brings back dessert. It's just the beginning of Mango season and the luscious sweet flesh is wonderful on its own, but when you take a bite with the chewy sticky rice scented with pandanus and the sweetened fresh coconut cream, you just about wet yourself. I dry off while Bob tells me that a great source for recipes is funeral books. This is a way the cuisine gets passed down through generations and, though rarely are their measurements, there are often times explicit directions. We are joined by Mrs. Krachoichuli Kimangsawat, the chef and owner, who brings her own family’s books -- such a warm and gracious lady. I'm so overwhelmed by the moment that I blurt out "hey, can I work here?" She looks over to her two employees, as if to say she's got it covered, and Bob explains in Thai what I meant. She smiles and says okay. I start the next day. The walk from Phra Athit is not too far, just through Sanam Luang park, past the Grand Palace and down a couple side streets and I'm there. Mrs. Kimangsawat (Tiem) has two helpers, Ele the sous chef and a steward/busser. Together, they are a formidable crew that moves like the wind when it gets busy. Mario may have done all the cooking at Po, but he didn’t wait tables, mix drinks and serve as the cashier too. It's a railroad layout: an open air dining room in the front, a small narrow hallway in the middle that houses the garde manger, dishwashing and waiter stations, all the refrigeration and a restroom. In the back is a small room with a few fans hung from the partially open ceiling where the fans point up. There are two burners set against the wall and mise en place wrapped around its perimeter, set on crates, old tables and a cupboard. This is Tiem’s sanctuary -- all 15 square feet of it. I try to get busy by washing a few things in the sink and I'm politely asked to stop. I try to infiltrate the peeling of the lemongrass, but that task only lasts a few seconds. As I'm learning, most of these restaurants do a minimal amount of prep prior to service. The curry pastes, nam priks, chili pastes and basically all the cool stuff is made by Tiem at her house. Here's a lady who begins her day at 6:00 AM by going to several markets, then she drives with her two fox terriers to the restaurant, which is open from 11:00 AM to10:00 PM, and she finishes around 11:00 PM and then drives home. That's a long day for anybody and she does it six days a week. On the seventh day, she prepares food for the monks at her temple.

The walk from Phra Athit is not too far, just through Sanam Luang park, past the Grand Palace and down a couple side streets and I'm there. Mrs. Kimangsawat (Tiem) has two helpers, Ele the sous chef and a steward/busser. Together, they are a formidable crew that moves like the wind when it gets busy. Mario may have done all the cooking at Po, but he didn’t wait tables, mix drinks and serve as the cashier too. It's a railroad layout: an open air dining room in the front, a small narrow hallway in the middle that houses the garde manger, dishwashing and waiter stations, all the refrigeration and a restroom. In the back is a small room with a few fans hung from the partially open ceiling where the fans point up.


เบื้องหลังความสำเร็จ - ตัน ภาสกรนที

Jan 29, 2012


การเติมความมั่นใจให้กับตัวเอง พญ.อัญชุลี ธีระวงศ์ไพศาล
From SamitivejHealth

ทำอะไรสักอย่างด้วยหัวใจ - โหน่ง a Day

โหน่ง a day จบแล้วไปไหน ~ ม.อ.88

นิธิพัฒน์ สุขสวย

เป็นอยู่คือ - เรียนให้ไม่จบ 21Jan12

Promma lnyasri

Bann Promma Art Gallery
7 Moo 7 Bann Phochai
Wiang Nue,Wiang Chai
Chiangrai 57210
Tel: 05376 9190, 08 9563 3325
Early in the summer of 1985 a young man returned to his hometown in Payao to look for work after having completed his studies in art.
He had spent five tough years learning sculpture under a number of very demanding teachers in the Department of Fine Arts at the Northern Campus.
His experiences as a student had given him confidence and led him to believe that he would be able to make a living as a potter.
But career opportunities for artists at the time, especially in the rural North,

wore severely limited. Promma got married and worked as a rice farmer in Chiang Rai for two years. Later he sold farm goods and other assorted items.

For eight years Promma struggled to support himself and his family. His dream of becoming an artist might have gone completely unrealized if he had not befriended a teacher named Boonyarat Na Vichai, who suggested that he start painting. Promma displayer his work at The Gallery, a combination restaurant and art exhibition space in downtown Chiang Mai.

It had not been long before his paintings first appeared at The Gallery that Promma had bought a set of paints and other art supplies. An acquaintance had asked him to paint a picture of lotus flowers as a gift for a wedding couple. At a friend's suggestion, Promma painted a second picture of lotus flowers and put it on display at The Gallery. At the time he had no idea that someone would buy the picture just three days later.

These two pictures changed the direction of Promma's life. Promma lnyasri had begun a new life as a painter in the traditional Thai style.
At first Promma was unsure of his drawing and painting abilities, but the solid foundation he had been given as an art student eventually convinced him that he could succeed as a traditional Thai-style painter. In 1993-4, he exhibited his works with the Lan Din Group in Bangkok, Public response to his paintings was overwhelmingly positive, and people snapped up many of his pictures.

Admiration for his work among a large number of exhibition-goers gave Promma growing confidence. He began a search for new ideas and drew inspiration from the things around him. He turned his attention to religious places, using them in his paintings as symbols of Buddhist worship.

Train of Thought

From birth to death, the lives of people in northern Thailand are intimately tied to customs and traditions rooted in the Buddhist religion. As a native of the North, Promma's own life has been shaped by these Buddhist beliefs and practices. In the Buddhist temples of northern Thailand Promma recognized a distinctive kind of beauty. He was particularly moved by the temple architecture of the Tai Yai of Mao Hong Sorn province, which he began to incorporate as a visual element in his art. He combined this with motifs taken from his study of temples in the Sipsong Panna region of southern China and the old Chiang Tung Kingdom that straddled the border between modern-day Thailand and Burma.
Inspiration for the painting "The Lanna Metal Prasart" came from Buddhist history. According to legend a woman named Visakha had a multi-tiered metal prasart constructed as a symbol of her faith. The structure, build of gold, gold bronze, silver and brass, was topped with majestic golden spires.

From this story, Promma began work on a series of painting of metal prasarts. Begun in 1996, these elaborate architectural studies have a startling, dreamlike quality.
After completing the Metal Prasart series, Promma altered his manner of presenting shaped, direction, and volume in a series of works entitled "The Path of Great Faith" The first painting in this painting in this series took second prize in the category of traditional Thai painting at the 24th Annual Bualuang Art Exhibition in 2000.

The painting was inspired by the artist's deep appreciation for the architectural grace of Wat Prathat Lampang Luang. Built on a hill, the temple commands a breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside, and because of the time, labor and money it took to construct it, the temple is a vivid expression of the power of faith.

Wat Prathat Lampang Luang is one of the most outstanding examples of northern Thai Buddhist architecture. With its beautiful ornamentation and its long history of religious scholarship, the temple has occupied a central place in the hearts of northern Thais for generations.

Later Promma turned his attention to the Buddha's footprint, a religious motif that defines his next three series of painting; "Lanna Buddha's Footprints", "The Power of Faith", and most recently "The Great Spirit of Lanna". Promma expresses pleasure in having found new themes and emotions to explore in his art.

Artistic Uniqueness
Because of his success as a painter over the past six years, it may be that Promma has lost his interest in a career as a sculptor. At major exhibitions around the country, his paintings regularly take top prizes and win him more admirers among art lovers and collectors both at home and abroad.

As a result of this success, Promma may have lost his feeling for the esthetic considerations of sculpture, which are linked to volume and mass.
But in fact, these are the very considerations that he addresses in his painting. In the series "Metal Prasart", for instance, Promma succeeds in conveying the volume of the prasart, not only in line and color, but with the understanding of a sculptor. The rendering of these religious structures in all their intricate detail reflects a concern for volume and mass that more often characterizes a sculptor than a painter.

In reality, there are no metal prasarts in northern Thailand. The structures featured in Promma's work spring wholly from the artist's imagination and are shaped by his esthetic sensibilities. Promma is able to add an almost infinite number of spires to his prasarts, increasing their volume and mass, while maintaining the painting's overall unity of design.
Promma also has a special technique for preparing his canvases. To boiled sa paper, he adds talc and glue in suitable proportions and applies the mixture to the canvas. Then with a comb or a coarse brush he raises a rough texture on the surface of the cloth that he has stretched over the frame.

All of the elements that comprise Promma's work are products of his imagination. Once he has settled on his subject matter, he makes a preliminary sketch on one of his prepared canvases. Using the sap from a fig tree, he sketches in the design. Then while the canvas is still damp, he applies gold leaf to the surface. Promma also uses silver foil in his compositions, a characteristic which is unique to his paintings.
Promma's work is not distinguished by his extravagant use of color. Instead, he uses brushes and paint to define the forms that constitute the primary visual elements of the work. The brilliant gold and silver which he favors are intended to function as symbols of sanctity and reverence and infuse the canvas with a sense of majesty. Promma' brushwork, which tends to be short and staccato, resembles points of light. Overall, his canvases often have a heavenly glow. They offer glimpses of a world beyond the mortal realm.

In his paintings "The Path of Great Faith#1 "Lanna Buddha's Footprint", and "The Power of Faith" Promma uses the interplay of light and shadow to create a multi-dimensional eftect. These works convey a powerful sense of depth and space. They hint at the infinite world of the imagination and dreams. The heavenly forms that feature in Promma's paintings are visual representations of the power of eternal faith.

It is Promma's blending of traditional Thai painting with elements of surrealism that sets him apart from other Thai painter and accounts for the uniqueness of his work. The evolution of forms that can be seen in his latest works shows an even deeper appreciation for the esthetic qualities of sculpture. These are the qualities that shine through in Promma's paintings.

Promma has chosen to work alone, not attaching himself to any particular group of artists. He prefers not to surround himself with other painters'works and recognizes no direct influences. As a result, his paintings are fresh and distinctive. They are the fruit of a unique imagination and the expression of a committed, confident artist.
At age 40, Promma has only been able to devote himself fully to art for the past ten years. As a young man just out of art school, he struggled to support himself and had to put his artistic ambition aside for eight long years. But in thinking back on the tough times behind him, Promma now has this to say:

"I'm grateful for the time 1 spent working as a rice farmer and a merchant. These experiences taught me about hardship and made me a tougher more determined man. 1 had to keep my creative energies bottled up inside of me, but today these energies provide the fuel for an endless imagination. Without the hard times, 1 wouldn't be the man 1 am today, and 1 certainly wouldn't feel the, same exhilaration and pride in my life as an artist'.

Sriwanna Saokong
August 2002

Promma lnyasri's works :

Jan 12, 2012

ดุสิต นนทะนาคร คนดีไม่มีวันตาย

กำหนดการพิธีพระราชทานเพลิงศพ คุณดุสิต นนทะนาคร
ในวันอาทิตย์ที่ 5 กุมภาพันธ์ 2555 เวลา 17.30 น. ณ วัดธาตุทอง
โดยได้รับพระมหากรุณาธิคุณ จากสมเด็จพระเทพรัตนราชสุดา สยามบรมราชกุมารี เสด็จเป็นองค์ประธาน
ทั้งนี้ เนื่องจากวัดธาตูทอง เป็นสถานที่ที่มีการจาราจรคับคั่ง
ทางหอการค้าไทยใคร่ขอแนะนำให้ใช้บริการรถไฟฟ้า BTS โดยได้จัดทำบัตรโดยสารที่ระลึก
ซึ่งจะจำหน่ายในราคา ใบละ 200 บาท โดยมีมูลค่าการเดินทาง 100 บาท
และสามารถเติมเงินได้ตลอดอายุการใช้งาน 5 ปี รวมค่ามัดจำบัตร 30 บาท
ซึ่งจะได้คืนเมื่อทำการยกเลิกบัตร และส่วนที่เหลืออีก 70 บาท นั้น
จะได้นำสมทบเข้าร่วมก่อตั้งมูลนิธิคุณดุสิต นนทะนาคร
สนใจสั่งซื้อสามารถสอบถามได้ที่ฝ่ายงานธุรการและการจัดประชุม หอการค้าไทย
ภายในวันที่ 15 มกราคม 2555

โครงการ"1ไร่ 1 แสน"

กานต์ ตระกูลฮุน

คุณกานต์ ตระกูลฮุน
กรรมการผู้จัดการใหญ่ SCG
บริษัทปูนซิเมนต์ไทย จำกัด (มหาชน)

ฟาสต์ฟู้ดธุรกิจ "หนุ่มเมืองจันท์"
กรุงเทพธุรกิจ วันที่ 24 ธันวาคม 2554
กานต์ ตระกูลฮุน แนะบอกต้องเร่งฟื้นความเชื่อมั่น
ภายใน3-6 เดือนเพื่อสร้างความมั่นใจทุนต่างชาติ