I feel sorry for people who go to Southeast Asian restaurants and order green papaya salad thinking they will get something like a garden salad finished with a lime and fish sauce vinaigrette.
If a garden salad can be compared to a peck on the cheek, Thai papaya salad is like making out—but with no fondling. If a Thai papaya salad is like making out (with no fondling), a Lao papaya salad is like nasty, raunchy sex complete with spit and sweat.
It is not for the faint of heart. It makes no apologies.
It is a man demanding, “You want it? Ask for it. Beg me.”
He doesn’t yell; he just says because he knows he is that good.
Lao papaya salad is like anal sex because it is an acquired taste that not everyone can acquire.
Lao papaya salad is like anal sex because it is not for the casual foodie wants to experience Southeast Asian food. It requires preparation.
What idiot engages in anal sex with no lube nearby?
You need lube to ease in.
And an adventurous spirit.
And, on top of that, you need tolerance. Lots of it.
With Lao papaya salad—and anal sex too—you may go to places you never expected.
Your mouth may become foul with unexplained desire.
Because Lao papaya salad is like smutty sex:
It’s a little crazy,
the MSG may make your head spin a bit,
and you will feel uncomfortably weird
Yet, you are compelled to keep shoving more in.
To eat Lao papaya salad, you must be willing to stomach the pungent scent of kapee, nampa, and padek smeared onto the slivers of green fruit.
You must be able to endure maj-kha juices splotching your new blouse like the guy who can’t control the aim of his semen.
If you eat Lao papaya salad...
You will sweat.
You will stink.
You might even cry depending on how hot the action is.
The thing about Lao papaya salad is that you can’t hide it. You can chew gum, but the smell will linger.
You can wipe your face, but it will not go away. It is like that ratchet girl you slept with last Saturday night after too many Hennessy shots.
That girl you thought was a one-night stand but who now thinks she is your girlfriend because, you see, she doesn’t care about the rules of dating within your brackets. She’s bold, and she’s brazen, and if you take on her, you take her on. You can try to lose her, but you will not succeed because she will come after you with her vigilante uncles who have screwdrivers duct-taped to their hands.
To get rid of Lao papaya salad, you must thoroughly brush your teeth, wash your face, maybe even change your clothes. I would recommend taking a shower too. The scent is that strong.
Because, you see, Lao papaya salad is not for the casual foodie.
It requires preparation.
And an adventurous spirit.
And, on top of that, you will need tolerance. Lots of it.