Anything related to Tiger Woods generates a media storm, especially if it's titillating. Witness my recent post, on my food blog Table Conversation, about a Tiger Woods statue clothed in condoms. Like a virus, this post circulated around the world. Some news sources got the facts wrong. They said I created the mannequin. This is not true. I can't even sew.

It all started innocently when I went to Cabbages & Condoms, a restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, to eat its famous dish, condom salad. C & C is a respectable place founded as part of a family planning campaign in Thailand. The salad, the condom-clad Tiger, and other similarly decorated figures on the grounds, illustrate the way the restaurant tries to make the topic fun and not embarrassing.

The salad is composed of chicken, shrimp, shredded cabbage and a typically Thai hot, sweet and sour dressing. The key ingredient is nothing more than noodles that curl into tubes when they are boiled. It's a very good pasta salad, in other words, that has acquired notoriety through its name.

The recipe is in the restaurant cookbook, Cabbages & Condoms: The Beautiful Thai Cook Book, which is sold in a shop there. It's an excellent book with clearly written recipes and photographs of each dish. Perhaps the Tiger Woods frenzy will help sales. That would be a good thing, because proceeds go to family planning and other projects that help the rural poor in Thailand.

The salad would be easy to copy here even without the recipe. It's just a question of combining a few ingredients and adding a basic Thai dressing. But if you eat it at Cabbages & Condoms in Bangkok, you will get a prize at the end of your meal, an after-dinner “mint” that is not a mint. It doesn't take much guessing to figure out what it is.

Thai "condom" salad; Credit: Barbara Hansen

Thai “condom” salad; Credit: Barbara Hansen

LA Weekly