Let’s talk Thai food! In part one of this series, I started chopping it up with some fun and interesting facts about cuisine from Thailand, which is some of the best grub in the world. In fact, food in Thailand isn’t just sustenance but has a rich historical, cultural, and even spiritual pedigree.
Have you been to Thailand? You have a trip planned there? Or, Thailand is on your Bucket List? Then you’ll definitely appreciate these facts about Thai food!
One of the great things about Thai food is that it’s so healthy. In fact, there are fresh fruits and/or vegetables available virtually everywhere, and in just about every dish. Therefore, vegetarians will find many more options than, say, in Cambodia or definitely the Philippines. However, you can’t always count on conditions that are perfect for vegans, and even super specific custom orders may be disregarded with a shrug!
But look below the surface and you may be shocked to see that modern Thai food may not be as healthy as you expect. That’s because, for some unknown reason, Thai people add sugar to just about every dish these days – and sometimes by the heaping spoonsful.
Most restaurants and hotels have a western menu with items like breaded chicken, pizza, and even some hamburgers, etc. They even have a lot of menus with Russian food options, as there are a lot of Ruski tourists. But each menu will also have a big section of traditional Thai food.
While Westerners are pretty strict about breakfast food for breakfast, lunch for lunch, etc., Thai people just basically eat whatever they want, whenever they want, no matter what time of day! I respect that!
While Thai food is largely unique these days, it actually evolved from Chinese cooking more than 2,000 years ago. When Chinese immigrants first came to the landmass of southeast Asia by boat, they brought spices, recipes, customs, and, of course, the prevalence of rice in the diet.
Since dining and food has such a significance in Thai culture, there’s actually an unspoken etiquette to getting together with friends, family and business associates to eat in Thailand. For instance, the person with the most seniority or leadership position is usually tasked with organizing and hosting dinners. He or she will choose their seat first, and everyone waits to start eating until they dig in.
That pomp and circumstance that surrounds Thai food etiquette roots from the way the King of Siam was traditionally served, in high ceremony fashion.
In some Southeast Asian countries, like Laos, Cambodia, and the Philippines, specifically, I wouldn’t recommend that you eat street food or at questionable restaurants. (I’ve just seen too much horrible hygiene and lack of even basic quality). But the great news is that in Thailand, you can really feel safe eating at most places, even smaller kiosks, food markets, and street stalls. Thai people take a whole lot of pride in their food, and that includes hygiene .
Since there is SO much amazing food EVERYWHERE in Thailand, it’s also not expensive at all. You can actually eat well for about $10 USD a day, and spending $20 a day on food means you’re stuffed and happy like a King!
Go enjoy Thai food to your heart’s content!