Sweet Salvation: Thailand’s Buddha amulets are now edible, and not everyone’s happy about that

Edible Buddhist amulets by Madam Choops.
Edible Buddhist amulets by Madam Choops.

People no longer have to wear magic amulets to shield themselves from danger, because now they can also be eaten. That’s right, edible Buddhist amulets are now a thing just outside the capital, and while some are chowing down on them, others are crying blasphemy.

Pastel amulets made from allure (Thai sugar candy) may mark an innovation in not only food but also religion, as even famed monk Paivan Warawoonno last night praised the idea. The holy confections were created by sweets shop Madam Choops southwest of Bangkok in Samut Songkhram province in time for the Thai New Year.

“Protect even your inner organs, suitable for both the alcohol and exercise-lover. They’re for celebrating Songkran, and each is baked over 12 hours,” the shop wrote.

While they may have struck a cord with the kind of urbanistas who eschew the superstition and crass commerce of the amulet trade, some Buddhist hardliners were displeased, saying they signify a new low in Thai Buddhism. 

“This is why the new gen calls monks ‘carrots.’ People will lose faith and no longer pay respect to monks,” Noppadol Chulanuka wrote in reply to the famed monk’s rave review, referring to a term used in the protest movement.

However, they also have their defenders, who have declared the ephemeral sweets may be the new taste of Dharma and teach Buddhism’s core precept.

“What an excellent idea. People may eat this amulet dessert and feel the Dharma will always be with them, and start seeing it as tangible,” Facebooker Sunshine Aom wrote. “Once it gets digested and becomes feces, it will reflect the teaching that nothing in this world lasts. Satu!”

Paivan, the celeb monk who disagrees with the cult form of Buddhism, said that although he respects every opinion, haters shouldn’t be hypocrites about “what Buddhism is,” especially when the real amulets are an even greater affront to the religion.

“Whoever gets mad over this Buddha amulet dessert should take just as seriously the normal amulets, which are sold as something magical and associated with black magic. That’s truly a scam to people,” he said.

Love’em or hate’em, Madam Choops today announced it would temporarily halt new orders as it has been overwhelmed by interest.

A box of 20 colorful amulet allures costs THB100 and now takes two weeks for delivery due to limited production capacity. A maximum of five boxes can be ordered per customer via Facebook message.

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