Som Tam (Papaya Salad)
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What: Peddled by roadside vendors, this local specialty of Waterloo pairs small, tortilla-like discs of cassava bread with an oily fish sauce. The dry, chewy bread doesn’t offer a lot on its own, but the sauce is an explosion of spicy, fishy flavor, particularly when you eat an egg sac from a dried, smoked fish. Together they’re a delicious treat.
Where: As far as we know, you can get this dish only in Waterloo, at the daily chaotic market. Look for the vendors with stacks of smoked fish; they usually offer this as well.
When: Daily, during the market
Order: Cassava bread with gravy. The ladies might give you one to try, or you can buy a stack of bread and a bag of sauce and take it to go.
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