How do you say circle in Thai?
Thai dishes are known for their exotic spices and sometimes also for their sharpness, but at the same time for their lightness and the harmony and variety of their ingredients. In terms of their flavor composition, the dishes aim to achieve a harmonious balance of all possible basic taste sensations on the palate. A real sensory experience!
The Thai cuisine shows Regional differences, which can essentially be assigned to the geographical parts of the country: North, Northeast (Isaan), Central and South Thailand. In the cooking and eating traditions of these four main parts of the country, influences from the kitchens of the respective neighboring countries can also be seen. In addition, there is also the tradition of the royals Palace kitchen (traces of which go back to the medieval kingdom of Ayutthaya hand back). Their sophistication, preparation methods and ingredients have found their way into the food culture of central Thailand in particular.
Curry dishes from southern Thailand often contain coconut milk and fresh turmeric, while dishes from the northeast are often refined with lime juice. Some popular dishes are also of Chinese origin, such as "Chok"(Rice porridge โจ๊ก),"Advice na"(fried rice noodles) or"Khao kha mu"(braised pork with rice). Other dishes such as"Kaeng kari"(แกง กะหรี่ Yellow Curry) or"Massaman curry"(แกง มัสมั่น) are old borrowings from Indian and Persian cuisine.
rice is the focus of a traditional meal, so rice is not a side dish in Thailand but the main course. The meaning of rice in the life, culture and everyday life of the Thais is also incorporated into the Thai word for "eat" - one always says "eat rice" (and not just "eat" alone). There are a large number of types of rice that are unknown to us - in north and north-east Thailand, for example, they usually prefer "sticky rice" (Khao niao ข้าวเหนียว) - Thais from Isaan or Northern Thailand can often be recognized by the fact that they like to eat sticky rice. This is not boiled with water, but rather cooked in a basket with steam. Another famous rice variety is the fragrant "jasmine rice" (Kao hom mali ข้าว หอม มะลิ), a variety that grows only in Thailand.
Classically, you don't sit on chairs around a table, but on a woven mat on the floor in a circle. A saucepan with rice is placed in the middle and several bowls with different sauces (Nam chim), Vegetables, fish, meat and other side dishes. The housewife gives everyone a portion of rice on a plate and everyone can now take from the various side dishes to their rice. There is no sequence of dishes (starters, main courses and desserts) all dishes are eaten at the same time ("a little bit of it, a little bit of it").
In the past, people didn't use cutlery but only ate with their right hand. Not until the time of King Mongkut the western habit of eating with a fork and spoon was gradually adopted, but not the use of a knife. Thais hold the fork in their left hand and use it to push the food from the plate onto the spoon held in their right hand. The food is then brought to the mouth with a spoon only. However, even today you can still see older people (especially in the country) who still eat by hand without cutlery. Chinese type spoons, either made of metal or porcelain, are used for soups. Chopsticks are only used for eating noodles (especially in noodle soups).
For seasoning "at the table" there are not salt and pepper available as we do, but completely different spices and sauces, e.g. "Phrik nam pla"(Fish sauce with chopped fresh chilli peppers, garlic and lime juice), possibly also bowls with dried chilli flakes, sugar or grated peanuts.
Although the majority of the population in Thailand call themselves "Thai", the country as a whole is best understood as a multi-ethnic state in which one can distinguish over 40 different ethnic groups with their own language and culture. So it is not surprising that the Thai cuisine is incredible diverse both in terms of the type of ingredients and the preparation of the dishes.
Thai food is famous for the abundant use of fresh herbs and spices, e.g. chillies, green coriander, lemongrass, Thai basil, mint, ginger, galangal (mild blue ginger), tamarind, turmeric (turmeric), garlic, soybeans, shallots , Peppercorns and kaffir lime.
An almost indispensable condiment in the preparation of many dishes is the Thai one Fish sauce (Nam pla น้ำปลา). It is made from fermented fish and gives the dishes a very aromatic and characteristic taste.
Another important ingredient in the kitchens of Thailand is Shrimp paste (Kapi กะปิ), which is made from fermented prawns / shrimp and salt. It is then used, for example, to make the "red curry paste" or a popular chilli paste called "nam phrik kapi". There are many regional variations of this chilli paste (even in Indonesia a similar paste is known under the name "Sambal").
It is also often used for the preparation of vegetables and roasted meat Soy sauces. However, these originally come from Chinese cuisine.
Pasta are made in Thailand either from rice flour, wheat flour or mung bean flour in various widths and thicknesses. Rice and tapioca flour (from the cassava root) are also often used in desserts or to thicken sauces.
Thai restaurant Tullnerbach Pressbaum
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