Thai cuisine is world famous for its spicy and savory flavors, its intrinsic beauty and its broad appeal. Thailand is a nation steeped in culinary tradition and people all across the world have discovered just how lucky Thai people are to be blessed with such a rich food-oriented culture. It is my love for Thai food that has inspired this website and my passion for cooking which has brought it into reality. I hope that I can light the fires of creativity within you also as you pursue your goal of learning to cook and/or eat Thai food.
Types of Thai Cuisine
Even though Thailand is a rather small country, it still has many variations on its culinary expression. Each area of the country has its own cuisine and there are also many other variations possible including all of the following:
- Bangkok Thailand cuisine is also known as Central Thailand cuisine. This the most common form of Thai food and also the type generally served in restaurants, unless otherwise specified.
- Southern Thailand cuisine is greatly influenced by Malaysia and Indonesia and sometimes has a Muslim flare.
- Northern Thailand cuisine is influenced by the cooler (relatively speaking) climate, the mountainous terrain and the close proximity to the Golden Triangle.
- Northeast Thailand cuisine is also called Isaan cuisine (also spelled Esan cuisine). This region is greatly influence by Lao culture.
- The history of Thailand cuisine is fascinating and explains how this particular type of Southeast Asian food has reached a worldwide audience of fans.
- Modern Thailand cuisine is often featured in gourmet restaurants may be very different in form and taste to Traditional Thailand cuisine.
- Classic Thailand cuisine is what people visualize when they think of Thai food. Can anyone say “Pad Thai”?
- Thai fusion cuisine is a cutting-edge blend of Thai and other types of international cooking styles. Every variety of food can use a little Thai influence!
- Thai food culture has brought many “foodies” in search of the best Thai recipes in Thailand.
- Thai food etiquette is an important part of eating at a Thai restaurant or enjoying Thai cooking at home.
- Thai food flavors are created by the lush mixture of specialized ingredients common to so many Thai recipes.
Thai Cuisine in Thailand
In the Kingdom, Thai food is simply “food”. It fulfills the basics needs of the people for sustenance and nutrition, but also satisfies the souls of the Thai people who really truly love their food! Meals are very social occasions and it is normal for eating to be communal with all dishes being shared. Thai people think it somewhat strange that many westerners order a separate dish and do not share with everyone else. The food in Thailand is notoriously hot and spicy with Authentic Thai flavors coming through loud and clear. Much too clear for many westerners who have never really experienced hot before they try real Thai food! Luckily, even in Thailand, every dish can be made to order and most Thais will be particularly careful about serving very spicy food to foreigners without warning them first.
Thai Cuisine Abroad
What qualifies as Thai food outside of Thailand is a very wide range of creations. Many Thai people would not even recognize dishes marketed as authentic or traditional Thai, since there is nothing authentic or real about them! However, since these items are geared towards non-Thai consumers, there is no harm, since they will probably not know the difference anyway!
However, it is great to know that in many Thai-Towns across the world real Thai cooking still lives, breathes and prospers, welcoming hungry people to enjoy a bit of Thailand, wherever in the world they may be!
I am lucky enough to live in New York City, the culinary capital of the world, hands down. There are some truly amazing Thai restaurants here and many which are less auspicious. I think it is my location which continually adds fuel to my cooking fire, so to speak!