All About Thai Cuisine By Charles Cheow Thai food is known for its dishes that smell wonderful and are lightly prepared. That cuisine likes to tantalize the senses. Even before eating, they draw you in with their fragrant and delightful smells. One can't wait to eat once they are captured by the wonderful aroma coming from the kitchen. By the end of the meal, the cuisine will have provided a balance in taste senses for spicy, sour, bitter, sweet and salty. A staple in Thai food is fish sauce. It is found in all regions of the country and if made with fermented fish and it is what provides the salty flavor. In Thai cuisine, there are no specific breakfast items. People tend to eat the same things they eat for lunch and for dinner. In the Thai culture, when people gather to eat, they tend to eat buffet style and they have an abundance of food. They tend to have too much food available for the meal than they have people eating the meal. Two staples of Thai food are rice and noodles. Rice is served with every meal. Noodles are becoming more popular and being served more often. Noodles are more likely to be served in soups. Sticky rice is by far the most popular form of rice eaten. Thai dishes are made with many herbs and spices as Thai food is known for its aromatics. Many fruits and vegetables are used in their dishes as well to provide the varying tastes, colors and textures. There are five chilies that are used to provide the spicy flavor to the many dishes. While some fruits are used in varying dishes, they are generally used for the many different desserts. They don't make desserts such that Americans would enjoy, they serve the fresh fruits themselves as the dessert. Every now and then, they'll make something a little special by adding coconut or milk. One aspect of Thai food is using insects. They primarily deep fry them. Some of the insects used are grasshoppers, crickets, silkworm, bee larvae and ant eggs. These are typically deep fried with chilies, garlic and lime leaves. Fish and seafood continue to make up a large portion of the proteins. Pork is also used. Pork sausage is a dish that is enjoyed in Thai cuisine. Curry paste is used often and served as a dip for vegetables and soy sauce is used often in stir fry dishes.
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