March 3rd, 2008
Tara and I frequent a Thai Restaurant about a half mile from our apartment. Without too much thought I placed an order for something on the menu called Sator Shrimp since I like shrimp and spice doesn’t bother me. The waiter asked if I had ever had sator before and warned that the dish had a strong smell. That piqued my interest so I stuck with the order. The dish wreaked of odorized propane gas and the flavor of sator defies description. I didn’t know a plant could taste like that even though I ate things like pine needles and radish leaves as a kid. I finished the dish because I was extremely entertained that someone somewhere actually planted sator beans with the intent of selling them as food. Each bite was like the culinary equivalent of the Jerry Springer Show. After the beans were in my stomach and the sensory-masking effect of curry wore off I began to notice the smell again. It was my breath; onions are to sator what tictacs are to onions.
Googling after dinner I found that sator (parkia speciosa) is informally know as a Stink Bean
I can’t even believe a plant like sator is legal to grow in the USA considering growing relatively benign plants like Cannabis can win their owner a prison sentence. We need laws to protect our children from sator now :)