Beautiful Thailand: Thai Cuisine Story
Thai cuisine one of the most unique cuisines in the world. It combines quality and logicality of Chinese cuisine and a sharpness of the Mexican. The climate and culture of Thailand should affect cuisine development: the favorable climate allows gathering in here two, three harvests annually, and the professed religion – the Buddhism – does not imply any restrictions in a food. The Thai cuisine basis is an art of five tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and hot.
Depending on availability, Thai dishes can change their ingredients. Thus in Thailand there are no exact rules on cooking. Ingredients, spices and their combinations, as a dish preparation time are defined by a cook. Thai cooks constantly improvise, replacing one component with another depending on circumstances, following only the basic order of preparation. But there are products, which are considered to be basic ingredients and can be found in the house of each Thai. It's rice, chili pepper, coconuts, limes, garlic, lemongrass, galangal and coriander. And of cause, the basis of all Thai cuisine is rice (khao). It's both a garnish, and a salad part, both the basic dish, and a dessert. Three quarters of Thai foods lose the taste and sense without rice.
Thais use all kinds of meat, fish in a reasonable quantity, and also much vegetables and fruit.
The Thai people are in earnest about meal. They choose only the freshest components with gentle taste and a structure. There's no starch and difficult sauces, as in Chinese cuisine, used in Thai, no dairy products and a karri, as in Indian cuisine. Thais borrowed Indians of a mix of spices, a karri and simple dishes from stewed meat. Thai cuisine became unique in many respects thanks to that Thais not only borrowed, but also transformed dishes into something unique new in its own way.
The main highlight of Thai cuisine is sauces and seasonings. From time to time Thai cooks manage to combine products not combined at first sight. And the taste turns out not only unexpected, but also savory and dainty. However in all Thai dishes the balance which, surely, is very important is always observed. Therefore all extreme tastes are harmoniously balanced in each dish.
Chili sauce and coconut milk are characteristic for Thai cuisine and its basic components as well. There are different variants of chili sauce, and their use depends both on dish kind, and on type of fish or meat. It is considered, that the most popular sauce is "Kaeng Phet" (translated from Thai – "piquant karri sauce"). A basis of this sauce is – chili pepper, garlic, salt, kaffir lime leaves, coriander fruits, a lime, krachai plant leaves (Boesanbergia pandurata), galangal, and Thai shrimps sauce (kakpi). Next popular chili paste is so called Tom Yum Paste, which is made from milled spices roasted in vegetable oil. Hardly Thai breakfast, dinner or supper will be finished, without having found out chili in one of dishes.
And coconut milk has appeared in Thai cuisine after resettlement to South East Asia. It is used in meat and fish dishes, reducing sharpness of taste of other components.
All dishes of Thai cuisine can be divided into four categories:
- Not spicy, well-done or steamed; the soups prepared similar to Chinese recipes;
- Hot dishes with or without coconut milk in the form of salads or light fried dishes. Quantity of spices variates.
- Vegetable salads and salads with meat. They can be sweet, sour or hot.
- Dishes from the cooked vegetables, which have sour flavor usually.
Integral part of any meal is a soup. As a rule, thai soup is eaten parallel with all other dishes, two-three tablespoons to freshen the tired oral cavity. If you want to observe the European foundations order each change of dishes separately at Thai restaurant, otherwise all will be bought simultaniously.
Thais do not eat with sticks like in Japan or China. They do not also use knives as all is clear, cut or ground in advance. As well as in any culture Thais have certain rules of food intake. For example, rice is pinned at first, and everything else is added to it next.
As a rule, Thais wash down food with ice water or ice tea. Alcoholic drinks move to a table extremely seldom as alcohol is not compatible with hot spices. Therefore Thais drink beer more often. By the way, there is "a snake" cocktail in Thailand – a mix of local whiskey with blood of a snake. It is said that the effect from reception of this "rattling" drink is similar to light narcotic inoxication.
The traditional dinner comes to end with a rice flat cake from coconut milk and whipped cream with fruit. The traditional Thai supper is a festive chaos from the basic dishes, desserts, cold and hot snack, fruit and soups.
Cutting on vegetables and fruit is practically art in Thailand. In Thai cuisine with pride, beautifully and clearly make out its dishes. Often as an ornament green onions and coriander leaves are used. Vegetables for a garnish are cut very accurately, the various forms. Dish design is the same important component in Thailand, as well as a dish itself.