Thai Food, About Thai Food And Popular Thai Food Dishes

Most visitors to Thailand love Thai food, and there is plenty of food and places to eat food in Thailand. Food is sold in restraunts, hotels, stalls and even on footpaths. You also have carts pushing their way through streets selling fruits, food and sweetmeats. It is something like, if you are too busy to go for lunch the lunch comes to you! If you wondered why there is so much food all around, it is because Thais rarely cook at home. And this applies to all Thais, even the rich travelling in their European cars stop by a wayside stall to eat or pick up something to take home and eat. If you started rambling about Thai food, it would never end but we promise to restrict the ramble to this page. Ofcourse that is only for this food article, other articles will have their own right to ramble!!

The Thais are basically non-vegetarians, meat and fish is what makes up most Thai food dishes. Having said that, we know of many vegetarians staying in Thailand who never have a problem finding something to eat. Tony a good friend of ours is from Ireland and turned vegetarian at the age of 12. Nothing religious though as he downs a few jugs of beer a day.

If anyone tells you that Thai food is hot and spicy, believe it and thank them for the warning. Most Thai food dishes are very spicy and you could sweat after a meal, like you just got out of the gym! Fortunately many restraunts can tone down the heat to suit your taste, but do not take things for granted. Always keep some cool iced water when trying a new Thai food dish or eating at a new restraunt. If you pick an eating place where all the food is neatly laid out in steel vessels or trays, it means that customization according to your taste buds would not be possible.

Even simple wayside food stalls keep a few Thai desserts. These could be simple desserts with coconut milk and a few soaked black beans. Crushed ice is added to many desserts, it seems to dilute the dish and the taste but remember that it is to basically put out the fire in your mouth and belly caused by the spicy food.

If you are not adventurous enough to go around and try traditional Thai food, you have options to fill your belly. Unless you are in a remote part of the country, expect to find your favorite Pizza Hut, McDonald, Chesters Grill, KFC etc. Most department stores will have one or all of these in their premises. Teas and coffees can be had at Coffee World, Starbucks, Black Canyon and a few other outlets.

International cuisine is not in short supply in the main metros. Japanese, Korean, Mexican, Vietnamese, Indian, American, Lebanese, Italian and even Irish food is available in restraunts. Some foreigners feel comfortable in such places as there is no problem with language communication.

There is one important issue that needs to be clearly mentioned here and it is related to Thai eating habits. The Thais normally do not mind sharing the same spoon and when eating, this might not be something that you approve of. In that case you need to very diplomatically address the issue. It is common to serve dishes in Thai restraunts without a center serving spoon. Each person just dips his or her own spoon into the dish and places it on their plate. You might need to specifically request for a sharing spoon. When it comes to drinking water, soft drinks etc it is quite normal for more than one person to drink from the same container and even using the same straw! A single drinking water bottle might be shared by three to four people, each person putting the bottle in contact with their mouth. If you do not approve of this, politely request for a separate bottle or glass for your drink. Remember to be polite, the Thais appreciate that.

There is no shortage of fruits and vegetables in Thailand.  Markets stock all types of fruits and vegetables, most of these are grown within the country but quite a few are imported from as far away as the U.S and Europe. If you plan to eat your fruit in a market, look for a fruit stall or moving cart that sells sliced fruit. Water melon, guava, papaya, pineapple, and sometimes jackfruit are what you can expect.

One fruit that we must mention is the Durian. This food is large and can vary from 8 inches to around 20 inches. Externally it has thick pointed cones all over the surface. Nature probably gave it those to prevent tiger attacks! This Thai fruit has a very thick skin and is not very easy to cut. Probably a good thing as once you cut it open, it gives a strong pungent smell. Some people are seduced by this smell while others find it repulsive! Once inside the fruit, you will find that it is divided into sections, a pale yellowish color. This fruit is high on sugar so watch don't overeat it. The interesting thing about Durian is that, most restraunts and hotels ban the fruit because of it's strong smell. Airlines do not allow the fruit to be carried on board, once again because of the smell. We have visited hotels outside of Bangkok where, a separate area was alloted for customers who wanted to eat Durian!

When it comes to tea and coffee, most Thais like it cold. Crushed ice is the main ingredient in cold coffee and tea here in Thailand. When street stalls sell these the coffee or tea is prepared, ice added and then the contents poured into a plastic bag! Stick a straw into the bag and relish the drink. Cold drinks like Pepsi are also available in this form.

It is very likely that the milk (if any) used in coffees is the sweetened condensed milk variety. This could make the coffee or tea too sweet for your liking, so you might want to request for less of the milk. Non-dairy creamers are also available and can be added to hot teas and coffees. Coffeemate by Nestle is one well known brand that is used.

Drinking coconut water is worth trying, and you have a few options to make here. The simplest form of coconut water is a fresh coconut cut open right before you. Dip a straw into the coconut and refresh yourself. Most vendors keep the coconuts cold by placing them within an ice box. There is a variation to this, where coconuts are roasted on a flame, the outer covering of the shell is removed and you see only the round hard shell of the coconut. The shell is cracked open and a straw placed inside for you to sip. The coconut water in this case has a light smoked flavor and this is quite interesting.

With this we come to the end of our first ramble on food. More to follow soon.