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Thai Culture

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❶Once the children were encouraged to go to school and college, the family structure was destroyed.

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Chillies were introduced to Thai cooking during the late s by Portuguese missionaries who had acquired a taste for them while serving in South America. The ghee used in Indian cooking was replaced by coconut oil, and coconut milk substituted for other daily products.

Overpowering pure spices were toned down and enhanced by fresh herbs such as lemon grass and galanga. Eventually, fewer and less spices were used in Thai curries, while the use of fresh herbs increased.

It is generally acknowledged that Thai curries burn intensely, but briefly, whereas other curries, with strong spices, burn for longer periods.

Instead of serving dishes in courses, a Thai meal is served all at once, permitting dinners to enjoy complementary combinations of different tastes. A proper Thai meal should consist of a soup, a curry dish with condiments, a dip with accompanying fish and vegetables. A spiced salad may replace the curry dish. The soup can also be spicy, but the curry should be replaced by non spiced items. There must be a harmony of tastes and textures within individual dishes and the entire meal.

Although considered as a single cuisine, Thai food would be more accurately described as four regional cuisines corresponding to the four main regions of the country: Northern, Northeastern or Isan , Central, and Southern. Each cuisine sharing similar foods or derived from those of neighboring countries. Central Thailand has a moderate flavor with herbs and sugar. Most curry with coconut milk dishes origin from central Thailand.

The dishes of Northern Thailand have light flavors, with a little spices, not very hot with chillies, not salty and most without sugar. The cuisine of Northeastern or Isan Thailand is heavily influenced by Laos. For example, Lap and Tom Sabb. Traditionally very spicy and strong tasting dishes, which show that north-eastern Thais like strong flavors with chillies, salt, herbs, and spices.

The south has a very strong flavor of food with spicy herbs, like turmeric, and tend to contain coconut milk. In fact, Thai food always has various kinds of vegetables as a main ingredient. These can be found in many curry dishes with or without coconut milk, stir fried, salad, and eaten with chillies paste. Many popular dishes eaten in Thailand were originally Chinese dishes which were introduced to Thailand by Chinese emigration.

However, Thai people adapted and modified these dishes for local Thai flavor and taste. Not only the unique taste in each dish, there are more reasons why Thai food is popular among foreigners. Decoration, Thai food has an attractive decoration inducing appetites.

Such as, Thai fruit and vegetable carving is an art which has been introduced to dishes, which makes you feel fascinated with the delicate preparation. Also, Thai food has both values of nutrition and medicine, obtained from ingredients such as vegetables, spices and herbs and without artificial flavoring substances.

Moreover, Thai food can be harmoniously taken with other food, for example, Pad Kaprao as spaghetti sauce, and Nam-prig Pao, chili paste, as sandwich filling or bread spread.

Thai folk wisdom, art and Thai culture is translated in Thai food. It reveals the characteristics of Thai people: Hence, Thai cuisine is not only about food but it is an art to learn. Thai food is eaten with a fork and spoon. Even single dish meals such as fried rice with pork, or steamed rice topped with roasted duck, are served in bite-sized slices or chunks obviating the need for a knife.

The spoon is used to convey food to the mouth. Ideally, eating Thai food is a communal affair involving two or more people, principally because the greater the number of diners the greater the number of dishes ordered. Generally speaking, two diners order three dishes in addition to their own individual plates of steamed rice. Thais do not use knives and forks but forks and spoons, holding the fork in their left hand to help get the food onto the right-hand-held spoon.

Each spoonful should be moderately filled to conform with accepted custom. Eating by stuffing the mouth full is considered impolite. The Thais do not scoop portions onto their plates as home style serving in the west tends to do. They share from a common dish, taking only enough for a bite or two at a time. This way one avoids seeming too greedy and everyone has an ample share of each dish.

They include spring rolls, satay, puffed rice cakes with herbed topping. They represent the playful and creative nature of the Thais. Major tastes are sour, sweet and salty. Spiciness comes in different degrees according to meat textures and occasions.

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Thai food is widely known for being hot and spicy since almost all Thai food is cooked with basic ingredients such as garlic, chillies, limejuice, lemon grass and fresh coriander leaf and fermented fish sauce (nam pia) or shrimp paste (kapi) to make it salty.

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