Thai Food

Phuket Tourist Information Guide

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Thai food is known for its complex interaction of at least three or four (up to five) basic taste senses in each dish: sour, spicy, bitter, salty and sweet. The idea is to prepare light dishes with strong aromatic flavors and a spicy edge. Unlike other cuisines, Thai cooking abandons simplicity and embraces those contrasting elements and ingredients balancing them just right to create that unique and harmonious cuisine while giving proper attention to color, texture, taste as well as using ingredients that are both medicinally beneficial and flavorful.

Over the centuries Thai food has changed, with the neighboring states influencing each other the cuisine has become a unique mix of the Thai region and its  closest foreign neighbor. For example Northern Thai cuisine shares dishes with parts of Burma and Northern Laos as well as Yunnan province in China. Northeastern Thai food, on the other hand, shows many similarities to cuisine from Southern Laos and is greatly influenced with the rich flavors of the Khmer cuisine, such as palm sugar and tamarind that emanates from Cambodia just to the south as well as Vietnamese cuisine to the east. Southern Thailand is a bit different, with it's plentiful use of coconut milk and fresh turmeric often mimicking Indonesian, Indian and Malaysian cuisine.

While many popular dishes in Thailand originate from China they have been adapted and altered by the Thais with their own cooking methods and use of local spices. The most notable influence of Thai food however has been from the West with the introduction of chili peppers from the Americas in the 17th century. Chili and rice are now the two main staples in Thai cuisine. Another significant influence from the Americas that is still seen in Thai food today was the introduction of pineapple, cilantro, papaya, corn, eggplant, cashews and peanuts.

Today Thai food is some of the most popular cuisine in the entire world. With every country becoming more and more diverse, there are Thai restaurants popping up everywhere. In 2011 Thai was so popular that seven of it's dishes made CNN Travel's list of "Worlds top 50 Most Delicious Foods", ranked in the top 6 were tom yang going, som tam and pad thai.

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