Muslim Women Dried Fruit Ring

If you go to most major supermarkets in Bangkok there is often a dried fruit section with an enourmous selection of really delicious dried fruits, below is a selection. There are some interesting fruits and even the standard fruits do not taste the same way that you would expect as a westerner. For instance, the dried prunes are a bit crunchy and have maintained much of their sour plum flavour. The stalls are (wo)manned exclusively by Muslim women. I haven't quite figured out why this is, but somehow they seem to have cornered the dried fruit market in Thailand.

Is there some well known Southeast Asian division of labour that so far has completely passed me by? Like "oh yeah, didn't you know the Thai grow the rice, the Chinese sell the rice and the Muslims dry the fruit" ????



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