We were recently introduced to this snack called Miang Kham, “a leaf-wrapped bite.” I’ve tried each of the ingredients in this “bite” separately and wasn’t expecting any surprises. When I bit into my first “bite” I was shocked at the flavors. It is such a simple thing, but so good. Local food is known to be delicious because of the complexity of flavor. This bite is the perfect example of that. It takes pretty much every flavor you can think of and packs it into one leafy bite. The betel leaf is just a vehicle and doesn’t have much flavor, but other than that, every other item adds another layer of flavor. There’s all kinds of heat coming from the bird’s eye chili, ginger and shallot. There’s tang from the lime and a little bitterness from its peel. The dried shrimp brings the saltiness and umami. The roasted peanuts and toasted coconut bring the smoky, earthy flavors and the tamarind sauce finishes it up with the sweetness. All the flavors show up for a surprise party in your mouth.