Tastes of Thailand – Snacking at 711


On every corner of every side street throughout Thailand’s capital, a bright beacon of hope shines brighter than any other. 7-Eleven and its Korean owned competitor, Family Mart, are essential for Bangkokians to survive the blazing heat and torrential downpours of this massive metropolis. These convenience stores offer cool drinks, tasty snacks, mobile phone top ups and even a place to pay your rent and utilities. While a typical trip usually warrants a purchase of cold water, potato chips and a ham and cheese toastie, a more in depth tour of the store reveals some truly strange snack flavors. Despite being labeled as Thai brands, observing an actual purchase of these products is quite rare. Talk Bangkok has decided to brave the bizarre and have a taste of these Thai treats.

The first snack selected is corn soup flavored Corn Puffs. While corn soup is delicious, being the flavor of a carb-loaded corn snack seems odd, and maybe even a bit overkill. The Corn Puffs have a remarkably authentic smell and taste to match. Creamy and sweet with a corny aftertaste, the flavor is not nearly as off-putting as one may suspect, however it completely contrasts with the crispy airiness of the cylindrical corn puffs. The overall enjoyment of the snack was also hurt by the fact that the puffs were a bit stale. An unsurprising development as not many would think a corn soup flavored corn chip would be flying off the shelves.

The second snack is Cocori Balls. This bag features “Angry Birds” in large white font and three of the famous fowls solely for marketing purposes. The completely unrelated flavor of these balls is lobster bar-b-q. While lobsters are generally rich, buttery and light in taste, these Cocori Balls most certainly are not. The small corn balls have the typical Thai bar-b-q taste with just a hint of tomato soup and a bit of spice. This is almost certainly not the taste Cocori was going for. Despite the lack of lobster flavor, these are really quite enjoyable. Unless someone is trying to satiate their lobster fix, Cocori Balls are actually a quality, cheap snack choice.

Next up is a milk-flavored croissant. While this is certainly not the taste the French intended when they invented this buttery pastry, milk seems to be quite a popular flavor for bread products in Thailand. The 7-Eleven brand croissant tastes almost exactly like a regular croissant, but perhaps slightly sweeter. This buttery bread product is about as good as a pre-packaged pastry can be. Although the croissant lacked milk flavor during consumption, it curiously leaves an aftertaste exactly like boxed milk. For those who don’t mind the milky aftertaste, this croissant is an edible, albeit very unhealthy, snacking option.

For dessert is Sponge Crunch of the green tea flavor variety. Despite being hidden away behind a column at the 7-Eleven, it appears to be quite an appetizing snack. The airy, circular crisps do not quite live up to their depiction on the bag in appearance. Tastewise, it gives a satisfying crunch and is coated in a chocolate textured convection with a powerful green tea taste. This snack is recommended only for those with a deep love rich green tea flavor.

To wash it all down, a bottle of Tamarind Juice has also been selected. The sour tamarind is often eaten as a snack and used in many Thai dishes, however it comes in a sweet variety as well. This cloudy, light brown beverage uses the sour variety and has an earthy sour and sweet flavor. Those who enjoy eating tamarind fruit plain may enjoy this drink, but people who have not tried the raw form of the popular Thai fruit may be a bit put off and not refreshed.

There are strange flavors available in the Land of Smiles, many that are easily passed over. However, if you stop and look around, you may just find your new favorite snack. Talk Bangkok most certainly did not.


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