As I’ve already written, I backpacked through South-East Asia and other regions back in the late ’80s for a year. In Thailand, I teamed up with an Australian, Stephen Smith, who remains a good friend to this day. While we were hitching along the Mekong River, on the Thai side but near the Laos capital of Vientiane, I came across the most delicious coconut-filled croissants. Now this may seem a somewhat odd thing to find on sale in Thailand, but bear in mind that the French had administered Laos for many years, and one of the many things they introduced to the country was baking and patisserie, even if only for the ex-pat community based there. What had obviously happened is that a baker from Laos had given the classic French breakfast snack a twist by introducing the locally abundant coconut as a stuffing. At some point that idea had crossed the Mekong into Thailand. Fusion cuisine at its simplest and most delicious. If you can’t find pandan extract don’t worry, just add a few drops of vanilla extract instead.