… and they’re selling their vegetables in Tesco-Lotus.

Phak Phaay

This weird vegetable appeared in the supermarket earlier this week. The label said “Phak Phaay”. “Phak” means “vegetable” and “Phaay” is the English word “pie”.

Apparently, it likes to grow in mud so is often found around paddy fields where it can be a problem weed – particularly in Malaysia and Indonesia. It’s originally from the Americas and was introduced to Thailand in 1909 as an ornamental plant. It promptly escaped and invaded southern Burma.

Apparently it can be eaten both raw and cooked, and has a sweet, slightly bitter taste. Its slime can be used as a substitute for soap. To Linneus it’s Limnocharis flava, and in English, it’s variously known as Water Cabbage, Yellow Velvet-leaf, Sawah-flower Rush, Sawah Lettuce and Yellow Burrhead. But to Tesco-Lotus it’s simply delicious.


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