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Roti Saimai: no visit to the ruins of Ayutthaya is complete without this candy floss crepe!

2 min read

We are in Thailand.
If you are travelling there for any length of time, there is one iconic image that you may see crop up time and again on postcards and in guide-books: the photograph of a Buddha head entwined within the roots of a tree.
Its location is Wat Mahathat in Ayutthaya.
Visitors come from far and wide to see the ruins of the once-great city of Ayutthaya. Destroyed by the Burmese in the 18th century, who also vandalised many of the Buddha images in Ayutthaya by lopping off the heads, the area remained abandoned and overgrown until the 1950s when the Department of Fine Art began restoration work.
It now serves as a historic park, and the towers and monasteries that remain, along with the singular Buddha head entwined in a Bodhi tree, offer an idea of the splendor that once was.

And, just outside the park, vendors whip up candy floss crepes, spreading gooey, green dough across the hot griddle by hand.
Then they flip each crepe into a pile using a spatula. Called Roti Saimai, these rolled sweets feature threads of crunchy sugar enshrouded in a steaming, very thin crepe, and the color green is from the pandan leaf (also known as pandanus leaf) which is a delicacy in South East Asia.
Roti Saimai is a dessert with Islamic influences and is typically sold by Muslim vendors.
Thai desserts started when the Portuguese first came to Ayutthaya and introduced the use of eggs. Eggs were to become another important ingredient in Thai desserts on top of flour, sugar and coconut products.
Kids (and not only), drawn to the its colors, are often seen walking around with the portable snack in hand.

They cost about 30 THB (about 0,80€, or 0.90$) for one set that can feed 4 people (or just me).

Images from web – Google Research

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