Could Thai cuisine be the next ‘big thing’ in Seychelles?
A variety of spices will become available soon from Seychelles' first Thai garden (Louis Toussaint, Seychelles Nation)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The exotic and complex tastes of Thai cuisine could find popularity in Seychelles as a variety of spices commonly used in Thai dishes will soon become available on the market, predicted the Minister of Environment and Energy, Prof. Rolph Payet.
The minister was speaking at the opening of a new Thai garden at the National Botanical Gardens at Mont Fleuri yesterday, where the Thai ambassador to Seychelles, Ittiporn Boonpracong, and the Chief Executive of the Thai Botanical Garden Organization, Suyanese Vessabutr, had arranged the importation of over 10,000 plants from Thailand to create the attraction.
According to an article published in daily newspaper ‘Seychelles Nation’ the garden consists of a variety of plants, including various types of orchids, kitchen mint, hairy basil, sweet basil, windbetal leafbash, lime and common lime as well as Indian borage.
The south-east Asian country of Thailand is famed throughout the world for its aromatic and spicy national cuisine, which uses bases of fermented fish and shrimp in many of its dishes and is commonly served with a base of rice or rice noodles.
“The spices grown here will be available for sale and at this point I would like to call on restaurants, hotels and other tourism establishments to get their fresh spices from this garden and at the same time financially support this initiative which will help in the maintenance and growth of this garden in Seychelles,” said Payet.
The Thai-Seychelles Garden is also host to a propagation and tissue culture laboratory donated by the Thai government. The laboratory, which is the first of its kind in Seychelles, will assist the National Botanical gardens Foundation NBGF to germinate and incubate plants which are difficult to grow. This is expected to play an invaluable role in biodiversity projects, particularly in the protection of endemic plants. The lab will also assist with other types of research in the plant diagnostics field.
Work on the garden project began last year to observe the anniversary of the establishment of relations between Seychelles and Thailand in 1998.
Payet said that since 1998, Thailand and Seychelles had an excellent record of mutual cooperation, paying particular homage to the fact that Thailand was one of the first countries to assist Seychelles in the wake of the 2004 tsunami, donating $30,000 for disaster management and reparations.
“Seychelles and Thailand are also keen to explore other areas of cooperation for the future such as in health and potential training programmes as well as collaboration with our university here,” he added.
According to Dr Vessabutr, the Thai Botanical Garden Organization is currently providing capacity-building training to the NGBF staff working at the garden and laboratory.
Commending the cooperation and hard work of the NBGF and the Thai Botanical Garden staff members, Ambassador Boonpracong said the event provided yet another excellent reason to celebrate the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.