Foi thong: a Thai dessert with a Portuguese past

I’ve written about the legacy of Portuguese culture in Eastern Asia before (Adopted Portuguese words in the Far East and How to make a Taiwanese Castella) and foi thong is another example to add to the list.

Known as fois de ovos in Portugal, foi thong is a Thai dessert made of eggs, turned into thin strings, and boiled in sugar syrup with some added pandan leaves for flavour. Etymologically, foi thong means “golden threads” in Thai (foi meaning “thread” and thong meaning “gold”), while the Portuguese fois de ovos means “egg threads”. I know which name I prefer.

Foi thong was said to have been the creation of Portuguese nuns who used egg whites to starch clothes, leaving a lot of excess yolks which they turned into the delicious dessert[1]. It then found its to Thailand via a woman named Maria Guyomar de Pinha as well as other Asian countries thanks to Portuguese explorers.

Lion Brand has a recipe for foi thong and here are the ingredients:

  • 20 eggs
  • 850g white sugar
  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 pandan leaves
  • 2 tbsps egg whites
  • A pair of skewers or chopsticks
  • A mold for drizzling

^ 1. (via Wikipedia; unfortunately, the original source link is dead)

(via Atlas Obscura)

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