A Thai-English term for the delicious Thai dish som tam , a.k.a. green papaya salad. The term is an example of onomatopoeia, for som tam is traditionally prepared in a mortar and pestle, and "pok pok" recalls the sound of the wooden pestle hitting the baked clay mortar. Although many Thai people assumed that I, as a farang, naturally referred to som tam as "papaya pok pok", in fact I never heard anyone but a Thai use this term. They also think we can't eat rice and must have bread or crackers. Ah, the myth of the foreigner!

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