Six months ago when I was travelling through Indonesia and the rest of Asia, I'd often visit the local markets to sample food and drinks and generally soak up the atmosphere. There was usually the opportunity to try things exotic and unusual, things that you could never get at home in the UK.
Something that always caught my eye, particularly in Thailand, was a weird colourful drink that many of the locals indulged on a daily basis. At the time, I had no idea what it was: it looked a bit like milkshake in colour but with a consistency of coffee. It was always served in a clear plastic cup and at the bottom a strange substance that looked like frog spawn lurked there.
Bangkok has over a hundred markets, but one in particular stands out due to it's sheer size, ten thousand stalls of textiles, clothing, furniture, food and drink. The whole place is buzzing, alive with thousands of people all milling around the warren-like infrastructure. In soaring temperatures in the mid-afternoon sun (which can easily reach 40 degrees), regular refreshments are paramount. What better time than to indulge in the intriguing concoction that I had seen many of the locals enjoying.
It wasn't hard to find a little stall, usually you could pick them out from the big queues of Thai people taking a break from their working lives. Venturing into the unknown, I joined the queue and pointed at random words on the board…really I had no idea what I ordered! It was light pale pink in colour, with the taste of fruity milky tea but then these strange balls that emerged from my straw surprisingly burst in my mouth to reveal another flavour – in this instance, mango!
It became evident why the locals loved it; fruity refreshment that puts a smile on your face! The most fun I've ever had in a drink. Low and behold, last week when out shopping in Brighton, I stumbled across Bubbleology..a small unit selling the drink I'd sampled in Thailand. The mystery was solved, it's called Bubble Tea, made from jasmine and green tea so it's good for you and the strange balls are flavoured bursting tapioca. The love affair continues, it seems this new craze is sweeping the nation, so if you spot one when you're out and about, pop in and try something new. It's a great refreshing summer drink!