Bangkok’s Processed Meat Institution Survives 96 Years Without Ads or Social Media | Bangkok Foodies
Not just an Italian or American thing, sausages, hams, bologna’s etc. — processed meat is something that Thai people have long eaten and adored. They will consume it with rice, slices of bread or simply on its own. Thailand even has street food carts specialised in sausages; chicken, pork or assorted with cheese; fried or grilled, spiced up with some chilli sauce, ketchup or chilli & plum sauce.
But the processed variety is the one eaten most often by the masses, both young and the old, due to its quick and easy cooking, evenness of taste and relative cheapness. And although many may turn their nose at it, those bendy, squishy and vibrantly-coloured sausage meats and ham, have been deeply ingrained into Thai food culture and we do recommend trying, at least once.
There are many choices to select when it comes to processed meat. Find them in every supermarket fridge, from the super cheap to more “gourmet”, many are imported and some homegrown in Thailand.
For the local variety, there are several family-owned companies that have operated for generations. One of them is Bangkok Sausages and Ham. Situated in an old shophouse in Chareon Krung District (Bangkok Old Town), a location has been running for 20 years. The shop hasn’t changed much from the day they started in 1924. They don’t even own a Facebook official page, Instagram account or website, yet survived through popularity and word of mouth circulated by decades of loyal customers.
In this day and age, we are led to believe that older businesses would die-off if they don’t evolve to use social media to stay relevant. Bangkok Foodies were fascinated by this family-run business whom, literally do no marketing and manage to keep their business alive. We decided to little take a trip to this meaty institute to find out what was their secret recipe to success.
We also compiled some actual recipes to whet your appetite and enjoy sausage meats like a true local!
Once arriving, we were surprised by the sheer size of the place because it is actually very small. It looks rather like an old shop that hasn’t updated its exterior and interior for decades. One of the senior staff tells us, “This place has established for almost 100 years — 96 years,” she continued, “Our shop used to be located on Surasak and then we moved because there was a development in that area, we are here (at the present location) for 20 years now.”
It wasn’t difficult for them when they had to relocate, the staff member said “This kind of change happens all the time. We weren’t worried about it, the third-generation owner of the shop just looked for a new place right away when they received the notice.” The present location is two blocks away from the entrance of Soi Charoen Krung 74 and we noticed customers were coming and going the whole time.
“We don’t use social media at all.” Said, a senior staff. “We like it this way. The owner is very pleased with what we are. We just want to hand people our products.” Through the glass window of the refrigerator, there are plenty of selections of sausages, bolognas, hams and meatloaves. On the opposite of the processed meat counter, shelves of condiments to eat with the shop’s products that appear appetising. “We don’t add food colouring to our products.”
‘We are the first in Thailand’, the statement printed on the shop’s bag. The owner’s great grandfather was the pioneer of the industry. “At that time — around 1920s, sausages and hams were new to Thai people.
One of the descendants of the shop’s founder had told us, “My great grandfather saw that processed meat would become popular among the Thais. He believed that Thai people shouldn’t depend on imported products.”
This is more relevant now than ever since Covid-19 hit the country. She continued, “The shipping takes a lot of time which makes these products expensive and only rich people have the capacity to buy them or depend on shops by foreigners.”
The fourth-generation owner also said. “The reason we asked to keep our names out of the brand because we want people to focus on the products. We’re not the protagonist here. Our products are. We’re not a big company but we like to make our products with quality and tasty the same way my great grandfather started. Everything is obviously local. We want to keep it small. We don’t want to expand. We still keep our staff and customers happy. That’s good enough….”
“…Although this place is almost a century old, many of our customers are regulars”, And right there foodies and business owners, must be the key to success, especially right here, right now.
Now here are some of the dishes that Thais enjoy which Bangkok Foodies’ would like to recommend to DIY at home!
Thai Sweet & Spicy Dip, this one is very common and you can find this style of dip at fried or grilled processed meat carts in front of almost every branch of 7-11 in Thailand. This dip is perfect with their Cocktail Sausage (Original, Chilli and Kee Mao), Frankfurter (Beef and Pork), Viennese Sausage, Cheese Sausage, Garlic Sausage, Weiner (No. 23 and No.16) and Black Pepper Sausage and Pickle Sausage.
- Palm Sugar 5 tbsp
- Water 3 tbsp
- Vinegar 4 tbsp
- Fish Sauce 4 tbsp
- Black Soya Sauce 2 tbsp
- Fine Chopped Garlic 2 tbsp (if you don’t like the chunks of garlic, put the garlic in the blender)
- Chopped Thai Chilli 3 tbsp
- Coriander and/or Green Onion
- Pour the water and palm sugar in the pan or pot, boil and stir them until the sugar is melted and become syrup.
- Season the syrup with the fish sauce and black soya sauce.
- Add the vinegar and stir, then add garlic and chilli.
- When everything is well combined, stop the heat and put the coriander and/or green onion in.
* You can deep fry/ pan heat or grill your meat first.
Thai Hot Sauce and Cheese Sandwich, this will offer some spiciness in your everyday sandwich. You can fill the buns with Cocktail Sausage (Original, Chilli and Kee Mao), Frankfurter (Beef and Pork), Viennese Sausage, Cheese Sausage, Garlic Sausage, Weiner (No. 23 and No.16) and Black Pepper Sausage, Pickle Sausage, Ham, Smoked, Bacon, Spam and Bologna Sausage (Chilli (Mild, Medium and Hot) and Original).
- Your Preferred Bread
- Mayonnaise (Sukhum, Best Food or Pure Food)
- Hot Sauce (Thai Sriracha, Best Food, Rosa, Golden Mountain, Sukhum or Deksomboon)
- Sliced Tomatoes
- Spread Mayonnaise on one side of the sandwich and spread the hot sauce on another side of the sandwich.
- Lay the lettuce on the bun with the hot sauce.
Top the lettuce layer with some cheese.
- If you prefer sausage, split the sausages in half and lay them on top of the cheese layer.
- Put the cheese on top of the meaty layer and followed by the sliced tomatoes.
- Cover your sandwich with another bun with the mayo.
* You can add some fried egg on top of the bread or in the middle layer.
Meat Lover Tom Yum Flavour Instant Noodle, a perfect no-brainer dish that most university students love. It’s a perfect midnight snack or late dinner. Sounds pretty unhealthy as it’s overloaded with processed protein.
- Tom Yum Flavour Instant Noodle
- The Processed Meat That You Preferred
- Ground Pork
- Boiled Egg (s), Onsen Egg (s), Poached Egg (s) or Raw Egg (s)
- Green Onion
- Make pork balls out of the ground pork.
- Put the noodles and the pork balls in the pot and let everything boil.
- Put all the preferred processed meat in and season the dish with Tomyum seasoning in.
- Pour everything in a bowl and put some eggs in.
- Decorate the dish with the green onion.
* If you choose to put the raw egg (s), you need to put the eggs (s) while the noodle soup is still really hot and fast. Decorate the dish with green onion and cover the boil with a plate and wait for 3-5 mins. before eating.
Bangkok Sausage and Ham
Address: 2128, 4 Charoen Krung Rd, Wat Phraya Krai, Bang Kho Laem, Bangkok 10120
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Wariya has a strong passion for cocktails, and you may have met her several times but she likes to keep it casual and low-profile. She also likes