"Until I came to Laos, I thought I was a person who ate everything. Here, I discovered I haven't even begun to sample the menu of the world." Ruth Reichl To discover the food of Laos, Ruth Reichl had to visit the country. There's really no other way to experience its strange and exotic cuisine. At the Tamarind Cooking School owned by native Joy Ngueamboupha and his wife Caroline Gaylard, she tries food that bites back, a salad with live red ants and their eggs, and learns the cultural and economic reasons behind the cuisine's big, spicy flavors. In the school's beautiful open-air classroom, Ruth tastes all the sour, the bitter, and the textural components that make Laotian food worth the trip.