Food lovers from all around the world enjoy traveling and trying local food. There is no better way to learn about a certain country than to try the food its people eat daily. Traveling around Europe or the United States can be exciting, that is for sure. But, if you want to see and taste something new and exotic, and experienced travelers will confirm this, you should travel to Asia. Now, there are many interesting places you could visit in Asia, but one of the most popular destinations in this part of the world is Thailand.
The popularity of this country among tourists is rising for many good reasons. It is cheap and the climate is warm. Thai people are very friendly and open-minded. But, probably the most important thing Thailand has to offer to foreigners is its exotic and tasty cuisine. Today, we are going to explore the beauty of Thai cuisine. You are about to read some of the most interesting facts about Thailand’s food. What defines Thai food? What dishes represent the best Thai food? Do Thai people use chopsticks? What should everyone know about Thailand’s food culture? Here we go!
1. Thai People Like to Eat Together
People in Thailand enjoy sharing. When a family gathers for a meal, they usually eat together from a single large bowl. If they are having a big meal, there are many different dishes they can choose from. The fact that nobody has his or her plate would be a strange thing for a foreigner. However, Thai people want everyone at the table to be able to try a little bit of each dish. Also, they would see it as impolite if you ate more than others.
2. Noodles Are a Novelty in Thailand
Most of you probably think noodles are very common in cuisines throughout Asia. This is not a surprise. We all know that the Japanese, for example, eat noodles daily. But, when it comes to Thailand, this is not the case. Noodles were first brought to Thailand during the Second World War. The country had huge food shortages due to the war and this coincided with severe floods that almost destroyed the production of rice.
3. The Importance of Balance
Thai food is characterized by an amazing taste and this is mostly since Thai chefs tend to use a variety of spices. They use things like shrimp paste and fish sauce to make their dishes salty. They often use palm sugar and various fruit extracts to make their dishes sweet. In case they want to spice it up a little, they will add some herbs that are usually fresh. Of course, all these spices are not used at the same time. An experienced chef will dedicate special attention to
each dish and will try his best to achieve the perfect balance.
4. They Like It Fresh
Thai chefs try to avoid preserved ingredients as much as possible. They rarely use dried goods of any kind. A proper Thai dish usually contains various fresh fruits and vegetables. This is probably the reason why their cuisine is considered to be one of the healthiest in the world. The vibrant taste and colorful appearance of Thai dishes will make you ask for more.
5. Rice in All Forms and Shapes
Rice represents an unavoidable part of Thai cuisine. They prepare it in numerous ways and combine it with almost every dish they make. Just like in many other Asian countries, rice is a very important part of their culture. Thailand is also one of the largest rice exporters in the world.
6. Not Your Average Basil
Basil is a common ingredient in Thai cuisine. However, the basil they use has nothing to do with the herb that is very popular in the Mediterranean. When we talk about basil in Thailand, we talk about a herb that is unique for Southeast Asia. It can’t be found anywhere else in the world and it is known for its spicy flavor.
7. Fresh Fruit at Every Corner
Thailand is located in the tropical area. Its location and warm climate make it a fertile ground for all sorts of fruits and vegetables. Whether you prefer pineapples, mangoes or watermelons, Thailand is the place for you. All over this wonderful country, you will find street sellers offering all sorts of exotic fruits and vegetables. Not only is the fruit fresh and tasty, but it is also affordable.
8. The Amazing Durian
Have you ever tried this exotic thorny fruit? The so-called “king of all fruit” can be found throughout the country. There are more than a hundred known varieties of Durian in Thailand. This fruit is characterized by its strong odor. This is why it is usually banned in public buildings and buses. Its smell is very difficult to describe. Some say it smells like blue cheese, but others compare it to the smell of onions. However, the taste of Durian is something you should definitely experience if you ever visit Thailand.
9. This Is Not China
Many westerners have a difficult time distinguishing the Asian countries and nationalities. This is why many confuse China with Japan, China with Thailand, or Thailand with South Korea. It is, therefore, important to point out that Thailand is a completely different country and it has nothing to do with China or Japan. The same goes for the difference between Thai and Chinese food. Thai cuisine tends to be very spicy, while Chinese dishes usually have a milder flavor. Thai food contains more herbs and is also usually lightly cooked.
10. Ice Cubes in My Beer?
You may find it surprising, but Thai people like to drink their beer with some ice in it. Even though this might seem like a strange habit, once we consider the average temperature in Thailand, it doesn’t seem so strange anymore. If you live in a tropical area you need to consume as much fluid as possible. There is nothing better than a cold beer on a warm and sunny day. Adding a few ice cubes can only improve the whole experience.
11. Desserts Are Usually Not Cold
Unlike desserts in Europe or the United States, Thai cuisine doesn’t contain many cold sweets. Once again, if we consider the situation in Thailand, this shouldn’t be a huge surprise. The fact that they have so much fruit and vegetables has made it easy to prepare various delicious, fresh, fruit-based desserts. After all, who would choose ice cream over fresh fruit salad?
As you can see, Thai cuisine has a lot to offer. This country’s amazing food culture hides many secrets. No wonder Thailand is among the most popular tourist destinations in Asia. In case you think Thailand is too far, or you simply don’t feel like going all the way to Asia just to try their food, don’t worry – our restaurant is much closer! Check out our menu and see if we offer something you haven’t tried yet. Come visit us and enjoy the amazing taste of Thai cuisine!