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Thailand History Of Their Cuisine
History of Thailand cuisine
Thailand is nation situated in the mainland of south Asia. The country measures approximately 514000 square kilometers. Its position geographically has influenced various aspects of the nation. Its cultures and customs changed to certain degrees. The country connects various nations for, example, people from Singapore and Malaysia can meet through the route it creates. The people of Thailand have their native culture, mode of socializing as well as cuisine. Therefore, this means that people of Thailand have their own cuisine and the way of cooking. The country has a tropical monsoon climate favorable for rice cultivation. The people call it, Thai cuisine, with pride as it is their national cuisine. Borrowing from other aspects of the southeastern cooking traditions, cooking places and home kitchen emphasize on lightly prepared dishes with very strong aromatic tastes. Spicing of food in Thailand is their tradition. Thailand food has a reputation including three necessary senses of tastes (Civitello 10-15). An expert of Asian cuisine, David Thompson proclaims that Thailand cuisine an Art. A Chef goes through rigorous activities; to integrate elements into the food and result into a perfect product. Unlike the cuisine of the west, which emphasizes on jumbling flavors Thailand cuisine, process is complex, and this complexity is to the delight of many.
The cuisine of Thailand is an amalgamation of cuisine from four regions. The country has four regions, which are the Central, the Southern, Northern and Northeastern. These cuisine share characteristics although influence foods, derived from the local environment or those from neighboring countries. The neighbors of Thailand that influence their cuisine include those from Burma region, Yunnan a region in China, and Vietnam. The location of the country in the global map has influenced its cuisine (Toussaint-Samat 17). Influence from the neighboring countries, has even affected the cultures of cooking in the country. Thailand cuisine can originate back in history to the period when Ayutthaya kingdom ruled the Nation (Mishra 25). The ruling families had their own royal cuisines. The refinement of the cooking techniques by these royal families, and the use of ingredients have far reaching implication on the cuisine of the Nation. There was a time in the 17th century when western cuisine had an influence in Thailand. During this period, Thailand cuisine introduced western cooking techniques. The Geographical location of Thailand has led to Thailand and its neighbors contribute to each other's cuisine mutually.
The mutual connection is prominent due to their ethnicity and same climatic conditions. In addition, carry from the southern region tend to contain coconut milk and turmeric, while people from the north use limejuice. For a fact, much food eaten in Thailand is originally from china brought to the country by the Teochew people. Such dishes include; porridge rice and noodles. Teochew people also introduced various cooking techniques. The concept of deep stir-frying dishes and deep-frying formally came into practice. It is a tradition in Thailand that people do not just order meals for themselves. Food ordering is proportionate to the plates on the table then shared among members (Horng and Tsai 14). When meals are over, it is a rule that no food is to be dispensed as left over because this angers the "god of rice." If this is ignored it is believed that the deity who watches over rice farms to ensure that everyone healthy would lay wrath on the offender. This may lead to severe famine.
Thai cuisine includes four basic approaches to seasoning which are sour, spicy, salty and sweet. One can say that Thai cuisine is not complete without the incorporation of the four tastes. When Thai eat out, they eat a variety of foods. People either take noodle dish, meat or fish, vegetables and probably soup. This practice is very common to people who enjoy eating in groups. Desert in this place may consist of only fruits such as pineapples or in some instances; one can take cakes from rice. The point to note is that this is dependent on the region. Apart from food for those who love snacks, there is a variety of them all over to eat. Snacks are all over the country from the markets to the roadside vendors. Although its neighbors have affected Thailand, certain cultures on food do exist. One of the aspects of the culture of the people in relation to foods presentation is very crucial (Isaacs 413-436). Formal food presentation in the country is important. Therefore, in food presentation, in Thailand, is crucial to any Chef. Foods served in a majority of Thailand hotels observe this aspect of decorating foods.
This decoration of foods, the unique nature of food preparation and other aspects to their cuisine has made Thailand's cuisine one of the best in the world. The cuisine had already gained acknowledgement from people all over the world by the year 1960. This was the period when Thailand was a leading tourism destination worldwide. American soldiers during the Vietnam War got a chance to be part of the community of Thailand. At this period, many foreigners had felt Thailand's cuisine as tourists or business people. This international recognition to the Thailand cuisine made hotels selling Thai cuisine spring up in cities like London. Thai food hotels in London increased from just four to hundred in a span of 25 years (Horng and Tsai 19). According to a survey of the year 2003, Thailand cuisine takes a fourth position; People were asked to vote for their favorite cuisine. The Thailand cuisine then compared to the Italian, French and Chinese cuisines. Many restaurants dealing with Thai cuisine have awards and other types of recognition showing the diversity of Thailand.
This interaction of people has an effect on Thai cuisine. Various aspects of foods from the United States of America and other countries have changed the view of Thai cuisine. Interactions of these cooking techniques have transformed Thai food into a compelling status. This mix of cuisines and cultures has made the cuisine popular. When eating alone people do take a single dish, but when people are eating in groups, they serve rice meal with other complementary dishes. It is customary for one to serve more plates than the guest at a given table. In a traditional set up, the right hand was used to eat food while people sat on mats or carpets. This activity is still a practice in traditional households. In today's Thailand, forks or spoons are essential in kitchens and restaurants (Toussaint-Samat 17). Westernization has led to the introduction of tables and chairs in households. Forks and spoons were traditionally not a culture of the people of Thailand. These eating tools came into the culture of Thailand in the years to 1897. While eating, a fork on the left hand of an individual scoops food to the spoon. The spoon drives food to the mouth. Spoons are part of the cuisine culture usually used to drink soup. Knives and chopping boards are essential in these households. Chinese chopsticks are foreign utensils in a traditional home. Traditionally, people of Thailand eat their food with bare hands while seated in mats or carpets. Use of chopsticks by the people of this Nation is now popular, but the use of the chopsticks is popular with Chinese cuisine (Horng and Tsai 11).
Hills tribe people in Thailand use sticky rice. Sticky rice is rice shaped into small shapes or at time flattened; the product thereafter dipped into a dish and consumed. People of this region touch their food only using their hands. The sticky rice serving accompany a variety of sauces. Which include lime, chili flakes, chopped chilies and garlic/Vinegar. Chilies are essential in these diets and sometimes cucumber's cooling potential cool mouths after taking a meal full of chilies. One-diet meals serving accompany Thai curry. A general Thai families' diet consist rice and other dishes to accomplish a meal (Isaacs 413-136). These meals need serving at the same time to maintain its warmth and aroma, when serving groups of people rice and other dishes serving on a table, for the whole group to enjoy. These complementing dishes may include chicken, fish, beef, Eggs or non-spicy vegetables.
Thailand is a country with the same surface area like Spain. The country boarders the Himalayas, the country is on a plateau, it has a lake basin, and it has rainforests. The country has over 30 ethnic groups each with their unique culture as well as language. This also proves why Thai cuisine has varied ingredients from one place and another. These foods use fresh herbs, as opposed to dried herbs. Common herbs include turmeric, garlic, chilies, ginger and Kaffir lime. Ingredients found in these foods have strong aromatic tastes. One has to notice the importance of Fish sauce to the Thai cuisine. Fish sauce is a staple part of Thailand cuisine (Counihan and Esterik 6). Fermenting fish are the first step to fish this provides a salty flavor. There are…[continue]
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