Sturgeon and rare rice varieties among highlights of Thailand's royal project fair

The much-loved Royal Project fair returns to CentralWorld next Friday and will be offering a range of gustatory delights on the theme “Bringing value from the top of the hill to the city centre”.

“The late King Bhumibol Adulyadej started the Royal Project in 1969, aiming to develop agriculture on the highlands to reduce the problems of shifting cultivation, forest demolition and the growing of narcotic plants among the hilltribes in addition to preserving the forests.

These are a major source of water in the country, and continue to develop the quality of life for the ethnic minorities,” His Serene Highness Bhisadej Rajani, president of Royal Project Foundation, told participants at the recent press conference for the “Royal Project 48” event.

“The foundation holds a Royal Project festival every year to show the progress of our research and development and to distribute crops and products from the Royal Project Foundation, the late King’s personal projects and other supporting units partnering with the Royal Project Foundation,” the sprightly 97-year-old continued.

That research has led to a plethora of products, many of which will be highlighted this year.

They include smoked sturgeon, rainbow trout, figs, two rare local rice varieties grown on the highlands and different types of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as preserved foods such as Earth Star mushroom.

In all, the event is bringing together more than 3,000 different products from the Royal Projects.

Making their debut at the fair are two rare local rice varieties grown in the highland community and consumed by local residents.

They are Pakakayo and Lawa yellow rice, also known as “Bue Bo rice and “Pakakayo Kai Pa Rice” (Bue Cho Mee rice). Bue Bo rice has a short and slender grain with dark haylike colour husks.

The rice is fragrant and very soft after being cooked.

It contains gamma oryzanol and is said to help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

It has also been shown to reduce bad cholesterol and blood sugar.

Rich in potassium, it helps to control the water balance in the body, lowers blood pressure and also contains iron, which helps to generate red blood cells thus preventing anaemia.

The zinc content is high in this rice, which is an important nutrient for children’s growth.

Bue Cho Mee rice can be grown once a year and its grains are long and slender similar to those of jasmine rice.

It contains antioxidants and helps to strengthen body functions, and also prevents premature ageing.

It contains potassium, which will work together with sodium in order to balance water in the body.

Bue Cho Mee Rice helps to normalise the heartbeat and is rich in vitamin B1, nourishing the nerves and relieving the symptoms of beriberi disease.

Hand-raised cold water fish are long-time favourites and sturgeon were introduced to the projects in 2007 when Her Majesty Queen Sirikit donated Bt200,000 (S$8,152) for the purchase of one kilogram of fish eggs from Russia.

The Royal Project’s smoked sturgeon has a fine aroma with a gold-coloured flesh and tastes delicious.

It is rich in protein, omega-3, collagen and antioxidants.

Rainbow trout are also successfully raised at the Inthanon Highland Fisheries Research Unit.

They contain a high level of unsaturated fatty acids and are high in omega-3, thus helping to reduce the amount of cholesterol and free iron in the blood.

Figs were among the late Monarch’s favourite fruits. Enjoyed fresh or dried, they contain healthy levels of fibre, carbohydrate, calcium and vitamin A.

They are particularly recommended for people suffering from hypertension, high cholesterol and liver disease.

Other Royal Project branded products that will be available at the fair are ganoderma lucidum mushrooms, also known as lingzhi or reishi mushrooms in capsule form and mixed in with coffee made from premium Arabica beans, along with white tea derived from the leaf tips of Assam tea grown in the forest area of Huai Nam Khun Royal Project Development Centre in Chiang Rai. Last year, the Royal Project’s white tea received the Silver Medal at the World Tea Union 2016, organised by the World Green Tea Association in Shizuoka, Japan.

Shoppers can also buy gluten-free buckwheat flour, avocados, sweet passion fruit, azuki beans, persimmon, fresh vegetables, winter flowers and other processed products such as ready-to-eat Japanese red beans, tabasco pepper, Lenghong tea, and Jiaogulan herbal green tea.

Doi Kham is introducing several new products at the fair, among them gac juice with honey, which is rich in betacarotene and lycopene and Indian gooseberry and plum juice, also mixed with honey.

This is a product from the forest restoration project from an initiative of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn in Omkoi District, Chiang Mai Province.

Well worth tasting is the Virgin Mary, a new tomato juice with a bold and tasty tang from ginger, chilli, pepper and celery.

Packed with BCAA and L-Carnitine, it helps to increase the metabolism and is reenergising.

Mango and passion fruit jam with no added sugar has a bold, sour taste from the passion fruit that grows around the Royal Projects that goes well with the sweetness from golden mangoes.

Lychee with butterfly pea jam combines the sweetness from Hong Huay lychee with colourful butterfly pea flower, which is high in fibre and good for the digestive system.

The fair will once again feature cooking demonstrations using crops from the Royal Projects presented by popular food stylist Karb Suthipong Suriya and flower arts in the “The Art of Botanical Living” plus performances from Kasetsart University student clubs, a Thai textile fashion show and music.

Shoppers will also be able to buy products from the Foundation for the Promotion of Supplementary Occupations and Related Techniques under the Royal Patronage of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, Chitralada Store, Bang Sai Royal Folk Arts and Crafts Centre, The Sai Jai Thai Foundation, Phufa shop, The Chulabhorn Research Institute, Thak Roy Saoy Rak Arts & Crafts Project under the Chulabhorn Foundation, Dr Namjit Dr Namjai Store, the Princess Pa Foundation, the Queen Savang Vadhana Foundation, and the To Be Number One project.


Published at Fri, 28 Jul 2017 09:20:40 +0000