Thais give a great deal of thought and time to the planning and preparation of their meals.
There is an infinite variety of recipes from which they can choose, and rarely would a household
repeat the same dish within a fortnight.
The staple food is rice which is the base for most meals. The most commonly-used meats
are pork and chicken, with a little beef. Fresh fish and other seafood are plentiful and very
popular. Fish can be eaten fresh, salted, dried, fermented and in many other ways. Vegetables
too come in profuse variety and are unbelievably cheap. Green leafy vegetables, shoots, roots
and young leaves are popular in salads and soups. Even pumpkins and watermelons are used
Normally, breakfast in a Thai household would probably consist of a lightly boiled egg or
rice soup, followed by 'ba ton ko' which are crisp, hollow, fried roots, often dipped in condensed
milk. Lunch is likely to feature one of many different sorts of noodles available; and perhaps,
dumplings made from flour and sago with a savory filling. The main meal of the day is usually
taken early in the evening, with rice as the base for the accompanying dishes such as curried
meat, fish, vegetables and noodles. Other savory concoctions generally called 'kap khoa' are
prepared with great care and add to the main course. Sweet meats and dishes and fresh fruits,
complete the meal. A glass of water is the usual drink taken with the meal.
In Thailand, people virtually eat all day long as it is very convenient to buy snacks. Food
vendors station themselves outside offices during the day and outside cinemas at night. Other
vendors ride bicycles or motorcycles peddling their wares. When traveling by train, the most
outstanding feature of the journey is the rush of food vendors every time the train stops at
a station. They offer drinks, sweets and even hot dishes like rice and chicken. However, these
vendors are slowly disappearing as commuters are more careful about the food they eat.
Thais do not customarily mix everything into one plate, but take one serving at a time,
to be eaten before proceeding to the next. Meals are eaten with a fork and spoon. Noodles
are often taken in Chinese fashion with chopsticks.
Thais have such a great variety of
food to choose from that a typical
household rarely cook the same dishes
in a fortnight. A variety of meat, fish and
vegetables are used in different ways
with rice as the basis for most meals.
A typical household would serve a
simple breakfast of egg or porridge,
followed by noodles and dumplings for
lunch. Dinner is more elaborate where
rice is usually served, accompanied by
various other dishes. However, Thais
seem to eat all day long as there are
plenty of food vendors that line the
street everywhere one goes. When one
travels on a train, one can see many
of these vendors selling their wares
when the train stops.
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