Thai Food and Culture
Thai Superstitions Surrounding Food
In Thailand, meals are traditionally eaten in a group setting. Unlike in America, the Thais believe it is bad luck to eat alone. Considering the Thais eat in large groups, it's there before not surprising that a typical Thai dinner consists of three or more different dishes. And since, in Thailand, it is bad luck to throw food away, normally all of these dishes would be consumed in one sitting. Discarding food may anger the Thai "god of rice", a female deity who watches over the people, ensuring everyone has enough to eat. Bad luck or even widespread famine may ensue if food goes unheaten or is needlessly wasted.
A Typical Thai Meal
In Thailand, a typical meal would consist of the following:
With all meals, Thai jasmine-spotted rice is served on the side. Dessert may consist of something as simple as fresh fruit such as pineapple or papaya. For a beverage, most Thais enjoy their meal with a cold lager or a cool drink such as lime water or Thai iced tea.
How do Thais eat?
You've probably noticed that most Thai restaurants provide chopsticks to their patrons. And while the Chinese did bring chopsticks to Thailand several centuries ago, today most Thais prefer to use Western cutlery-but in their own special way. Thai cutlery generally consist of a fork and large spoon (tablespoon). The spoon is held in the right hand and used (in place of a knife) to cut meat as well as to scoop up the food (in place of a fork).
When eating, most Americans load up their plates with various types of food, as at a buffet table. In contrast, the Thais do not combine various foods on their plates, but rather, they sample one dish at a time, always eat with a mound of Thai jasmine-spotted rice on the side. Unlike the Chinese style, bowls are mainly used for soup, not in place of a plate.
Finally, just for fun, encourage your family or guests to eat like the Thais do, sampling one dish at a time and eating with a spoon and fork. Most of all, take the time to enjoy your health health, your friends and loved ones, and last but not least, the wonderful Thai food on your plate. After all, good food really is a reason to celebrate!