Anthony Bourdain’s ‘Parts Unknown’ Episode 5: Tastes of Northern Thailand

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Parts Unknown has hit its groove in season three, pairing Bourdain with an area expert, encouraging heavy drinking, and letting the real story of a destination tell itself through the duo’s adventures.

— Samantha Shankman

Anthony Bourdain takes a culinary tour of Thailand in the latest episode of Parts Unknown.

Bourdain is accompanied on his Northern Thailand food tour by chef Andy Ricker, who has been described as “an established stateside champion of Thai cuisine.”

The episode’s food pornography is of particularly a profuse and detailed level including dishes like khao kha moo, slowly stewed pork, blood soup, and sheep’s brain.

There is, of course, copious amounts of rice whiskey. 

Bourdain points out in the episode how, like much of foreign food eaten in the U.S., the Thai dishes he’s indulging in are much different from the pad Thai and green curry chicken we usually order at home.

Bourdain actually comments on the heavy focus on cuisine in this episode in a Medium post exploring the balance between plates and politics on his show.

“There is, of course, nothing more political than food. Food itself. Who’s got it, who doesn’t. “What’s” cooking is usually the end of a long, often violent story,” he opines before going into the spiciness of Northern Thai food — a topic that’s discussed often throughout the episode.

Bourdain, who usually live tweets each episode, was off social media this week during the taping of a future episode.

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