Marin Trenk: Das rohe und das gekochte Laab Eine regionale Esskultur Thailands zwischen Aneignung und Ausgrenzung 115-128

Abstract. – Isaan, Thailand’s northeastern region, has been marginalized throughout modern times and its Lao-speaking population still faces on going discrimination. But its regional food ways have recently captivated all classes of Bangkok’s food-conscious population and its popularity has spread to every corner of the kingdom. This article attempts to map the complexities of the nation’s acceptance and the wide expansion of Isaan’s regional cuisine. Over the past 20 years a few Isaan dishes have been appropriated and adopted to Thai tastes. This culinary “Thaiization”has “de-ethnicized” and “de-regionalized” some local foods. By now these coopted dishes are considered to be part of the emergent national cuisine of Thailand. While some dishes have been accepted, others are still discriminated against, especially plaaraa, a non-pasteurized fish sauce, and the Carpaccio version of Isaan’s iconic dish laab, a raw spicy minced meat or fish salad. Traditionally these types of dishes were rejected on cultural grounds, but today national campaigns against certain Isaan foods are discussed in terms of “health concerns,” all while serving the goals for national political integration. To this, the people of Isaan react by developing a culture of resistance, turning some raw dishes into markers of regional identity. These local strategies are supported by global culinary trends (sushi!) making Isaan food irresistible even in Bangkok’s haute cuisine. [Thailand, Isaan, appropriation, foodways, anthropology of food]