Amata Chittasenee (Pearypie), a Bangkok-based environmentalist, social culture maker, urban farmer, theatrical and makeup artist, has just reported on her trip to taste the best rice in Thailand. She took part in a Sakon Nakhon rice tasting event (หอมข้าวชาวสกล) that was held in Bangkok. Most people are only familiar with two types of rice, the Isaan favorite sticky rice (which is served with spicy papaya salad, aka Som Tam) and the flavorful jasmine rice, which is also grown in Isaan. However, there are 5,928 species of rice in Thailand, including 2,023 varieties of sticky rice.
Sakon Nakhon is a leading Thai province in specialized rice farming. 300 varieties of the best rice in Thailand are grown in the Hom Dok Hang (หอมดอกฮัง) community. So, to help promote gastronomy tourism in Thailand and the unique rice growing culture of Sakon Nakhon, the farmer’s group Khao Hom Dok Hang, together with the Thailand Gastronomy Network and local restaurant House Number 1712, put on a rice tasting exhibition in Bangkok.
Khun Amata reports that she was greatly impressed by the Sakon Nakhon rice tasting event, learning that each rice variety has its unique flavor profile. There were fragrant smells, such as milk, jasmine, wild flowers, pandanus leaves, smoke, popcorn bread, cinnamon, vanilla, beans, and corn; as well a a variety of textures involving hardness, crunchiness, stickiness, and softness. Thus it really is a matter of personal preference when choosing what is the best rice in Thailand, rather than one single variety taking the top crown.
The Sakon Nakhon Hom Dok Hang rice conservation community takes great care in implementing best Thai farming practices, including careful water management, organic methods, crop selection matched to soil type, and more. Having personally tasted one of their unique rice varieties at a recent dinner at House Number 1712, we can confirm that they are producing some of the best Thai rice in the Kingdom. We hope more events like this will be put on, not only in Bangkok but locally in Sakon Nakhon.