|Thailand Travel Information: Thai
Food & Cuisines
Thai cuisine has become one of the world's most popular
cuisines and highly regarded as culinary forms in the world.
Influenced by Chinese and Indian cooking art, Thai cuisine has
blended those arts and created the originality of its own. Thai
food is considered scrupulous in cooking and delicate in dish
decoration; carved fruits and vegetable is often used to
embellish the dish, making it a graceful culinary art, not only
for is taste but also its appearance.
Rice is the main staple of Thai people. Steamed or boiled
rice (sticky rice in Northern and Northeastern Thailand) is the
elemental plate of the meal and will be eaten with several
dishes. Thai cuisine combines vegetable, fish, and other meat
cooked with many kinds of spices such as garlic, chili,
lemongrass, coconut milk, tamarind, ginger, coriander, basil,
and peanuts. The taste of Thai food is usually hot and spicy.
The most famous Thai dishes are Tom Yum Kung, the spicy soup
with shrimp and Pad -Thai, noodle fried with meat and vegetable.
Thai cuisine has also a wide variety of desserts and snacks
to choose from. Most of Thai desserts are made of sugar, egg,
and coconut milk. Kanom Buang, batter folded over and filled
with scraped coconut, egg yolk and green onion. Sang Kaya,
custard made from coconut milk, sugar and eggs, usually eaten
with sticky rice steamed with coconut milk. Visitors can find
Thai desserts in most restaurants and also on the sidewalk. When
it comes to fruits, Thailand is abounding with tropical fruits.
A parade of different kinds of fruits can be seen all year
round. Durian, rambutant, mangosteen, mango, banana, papaya are
to name just a few.
Thailand, being an Asian crossroads for centuries, owes its
rich culinary art to the cuisines of India, China, Malaysia and
Indonesia. The success of the country’s cuisine lies in the
blend of 4 basic tastes-salty, sweet, sour and pungent- which
form a wide range of flavors, making the dinner want to eat more
and more. However, foreigners must note that chilies amply used
in a number of Thai dishes, such as curry, fried dishes and even
soups. So if you are trying Thai hot food for the first time,
watch out for the little green or red chillies or ask the chef
to make the dish less hot than usual. Take plenty of not so hot
cooked rice along with the hot dishes. This is the way to
smother the fire in your mouth, which cannot be done with sweets
or even a cold drink.
Normally, each Thai restaurant has its own specialties, so
ask the waiter for recommendation. Some favorite Thai dishes
are: Kai Ho Bai Toei (seasoned fried chicken in leaf wrappers);
Thotman Plakrai or Thotman kung, Fish or shrimp fritters in Thai
style; various kinds of yam (Thai salad); Tomyam (hot and sour
soup); curry and namprik with fish vegetables. And perfect your
Thai meal by ending it with Thai sweets, such as salim, thapthim
krop, lotchunng, khanom chan, coconut-cream gelatine, thong yot,
foi thong, etc.
More and more visitors to Thailand have discovered to their
delight that Thailand is not only a kingdom of fruits, but also
a kingdom of seafood. Anyone who has experienced Thai seafood
will readily agree to its great variety and its savoury taste
and sweet smell.
A secret of seafood deliciousness lies in its freshness. As
Thailand has a long coastline, and Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket and
most other cities are close to the sea, fresh supplies of fish,
crabs, prawns, lobsters and other shellfish are always available
and all eaters will find them most palatable no matter whether
they are gourmet or just ordinary diners.
Most coffeeshop in tourist hotels serve an approximation of
European food, some also Chinese and Japanese. For mere
authentic dishes, you can try the nationality restaurants,
mostly located in the leading in the busy shopping areas. There
you will find the food and desserts in their original tastes.
Western cuisine available in Bangkok and provincial tourist
centers are American, English, French, German, Hungarian,
Italian, Scandinavian and Swiss. Asian cuisine includes Chinese,
Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian, Muslim and Arabic.
Thailand is an ideal place for enjoying genuine Chinese food
that tastes exactly like that of its country of origin. The
Chinese culinary art was first brought in large numbers in the
late Ayuthaya period over 200 years ago. As a result of the long
history of contact between the two peoples, the Thai and the
Chinese cultures are now well mixed in many aspects, including
the art of cooking. Chinese food is commonly served in
restaurants and hotels in every part of Thailand, especially in
Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya and Chiang Mai. Indeed, Thailand is the
only place outside China (and Taiwan and Hongkong) that can
provide tourists with such a wide choice of delicious Chinese