A warm, moist tropical climate has made Thailand an agricultural paradise, where abundant crops such as rice, maize, tapioca, sugar, and a hug variety of fruits are cultivated, while the seas are harvested for fish, prawns and shellfish. An important element of the Thai diet, rice comes in amy forms - white rice, red unmilled rice, Jasmine rice popular internationally, and sticky glutinous rice lovingly consumed in the North and Northeast.
To add value to their farm produce, many communities are processing their rice into snack products. In Lampang province, the popular local crispy rice snack have been reformulated into colourful rice biscuits, flavoured with watermelon or sugarcane juice, and marketed in familiar “Khaotan” brown bags. There’s also similar success story for crispy golden rice rolls, made from rice, coconut milk, sesame and brown sugar.
Of the many fruits grown in Thailand, bananas are hugely popular but have the problem of ripening too quickly. To get the best value out of their produce, farm groups are processing ripe bananas into variety of snack products: preserved in the traditional way, fried, baked, roasted slices, even banana flavoured chilli paste and banana crispy rice. The most popular form is crispy banana chips, with or without coated sugar, which are becoming a huge export item for Thailand within Asia.