A Brief History of Thai Food
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A Brief History of Thai  Food

Thai Food

4
A Brief History of Thai  Food

Thai cuisine is unique amongst all the food of Southeast Asia and is by far the most well-known. It is different from neighboring Chinese and Indian cuisines which influenced it and is very easily identifiable as it incorporates a fantastic blend of all the five taste groups: sweet, sour, bitter, salty and spicy. Thai food is of course best known for being very hot and spicy and many dishes use a lot of fresh chili. Over the years Thailand has used foreign influences and combined them to make a world-famous cuisine that is uniquely Thai.

Thailand, in the days when it was known as Siam, used to be the cross-roads of east-west trading and shipping routes, which means that its culture, religion and cuisine have been Xiong Mao with both Persian and Arabian elements. In the more recent past, other foreign recipes have been mixed with traditional Thai dishes and have resulted in a flavour that is unique to this country.

"Tai" people were the original settlers of Thailand and came from the valleys of the mountainous region of Southwest China (now known as Yunnan) sometime between the sixth and thirteenth centuries. They migrated into what we now call northern Thailand, Laos, northern Vietnam and northern Myanmar. Bringing their influence from China they mixed their knowledge with the former people of the southern peninsula and incorporated all the new herbs and spices of that southern region, resulting in many similarities between Thai and Chinese cooking.

In addition to this migration, the foreign trade also bought a lot of influence - most significantly the Portuguese, who brought many sweet flavours and even the red chilli, and the Buddhist monks who brought curry from India. Traces of this Indian influence can still be seen today in dishes such as Massaman curry and yellow curry.

These days Thai cuisine continues to evolve, grow and transform, taking new influences and fusing them with old and Thai food is now enjoyed in restaurants all over the world. As appreciation for this unique cuisine continues to grow, the food is a continual exploration of global cooking techniques, ingredients and styles. This is further fueled by modern overseas trading and immigration, with ingredients so easily available all over the world and the ability of people to work in kitchens anywhere they please, bringing their skills with them across the globe. Finally with the internet and the global spread of information, as well as modern mass-tourism, the influence of foreign foods on Thai cuisine has never been so big.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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