Thai cuisine: characteristics and popular dishes, where to eat, drink, alcohol
Features of Thai cuisine
In China they say: "there are No bad products, only bad cooks". In Thailand say the opposite: "there are No bad cooks, only bad products".
In Thailand believe that the basis of any dish should be tasty, high quality ingredients and make them delicious dish everyone can. Who knows if this is true, but one thing is for sure – Thai cuisine, one of the most exotic in the world, one of the most delicious and healthy.
In Thailand, eat all of course within reasonable limits. There are no taboos about pork, chicken, beef. Kitchen Thais are very liberal: you will find everything from Italian pizza to fried grasshoppers. In General, Thai cuisine is inherent in the combination of the sweet and sour tastes on the background of acute. The Thai diet is varied and includes all types of meat, a huge range of fish, plenty of fruits and vegetables (see "exotic fruits").
The basis of Thai cuisine, as usual in Asia, is rice. The word "food" translates from the Thai language literally as "eat rice". Thais eat rice of different kinds and everything. Rice can be served with meat, fish, seafood. In General, rice in Thailand, it's something! Moreover, Thai rice is the best in the world, so he's here there are the most incredible species – white, black, red, sweet, sticky... they Say that even there is a special kind of rice, which Thais chew of narcotic or alcoholic intoxication. But maybe it's all not true. If you have a little space in the Luggage before leaving home, you will certainly take a look at the market or supermarket and buy a couple of kilos of Jasmine, red or even some rice. Don't like rice? Nothing, I'll eat it for you, just call :-).
Another popular base for Thai dishes is noodles, which is also characterized by a great variety of wheat, rice, egg, noodles made from mung bean flour etc.
In your diet Thais use a lot of hot spices, the most common of which is the Thai curry, which is Thai called "kaeng" (Kaeng). Sharpness, sometimes so much that it takes your breath away when you scoop a spoonful of Tom Yam. But the Thais are polite people and if you order something, they will add spices, not as for myself, I will spare you. Tell them when you order: "but spicy (no spicy) or little spicy (a little spicy)". Brought you a plate, you scooped up, washed the tears and think, "That's bad, brought "spicy", do not understand anything." If you think so, then go to another place. In a place where few tourists. Where local eat. And order the same dish. Try and understand that no one is forgotten. Back in the first place to eat the soup this, "real". In General, everything there so badly.
By the way, Thais believe that the sharp is better not to drink, and eat it with rice. Rice for spicy dishes often served on a separate plate, but is not always included in the price meals and must be ordered separately.
Popular Thai dishes:
- Tom Yam (Tom Yam) - spicy-sour soup with shrimp and mushrooms, the hallmark cuisine of Thailand. There are several varieties of this soup depending on the ingredients: shrimp (tom yum goong or tom yum kung), chicken (tom yum kai), fish (tom yum pla) or seafood (tom yum thale or tom yum po taek). Years of research have shown that the Tom Yam soup is an excellent prevention of cancer, and it is because of him Thais so rarely suffer from this disease. This soup is so popular in the world that it even has its own fan clubs. We also joined this community and prepare this wonderful soup to your recipe Tom Yam here.
- Spicy papaya salad (Som Tam) green papaya salad, one of the business cards. Extremely sharp.
- Tom Kha Kai - hot and sour coconut milk soup with chicken.
- Poh Piah Sod - muffin with sausage, scrambled eggs and vegetable salad.
- Mi Krob - well-done pasta with sweet and sour sauce.
- Yam Nua - grilled meat, cucumber, onions with pepper and lime juice.
- Larb Kai - chicken with chopped onions, lime juice and pepper.
- Phat Thai - rice noodles in a special sauce, eggs, shrimps, bean sprouts and green onions.
Of course, this is only a modest list of traditional dishes that you can try.
Thais have little love for sweets, so sweets and desserts in Thai cuisine presented rather poorly. A mixture of eggs, bananas, coconut and glutinous rice, they prepare a variety of puddings, cakes and ice cream is not causing excitement among the foreigners. Two exceptions to this- "Fou Thong", sweet meringue in the form of pellets imported to this region in the 17th century by the Portuguese, and "khanom luuk chup" - weight with coconut jelly, something reminiscent of marzipan, from which sculpt mouthwatering balls in the form of exotic fruit.
Not all Asian countries you will be able to try such Exotica as fried locusts, cockroaches, Scorpions, caterpillars, etc. But in Thailand has it all. Of course, these fried "reptiles" are not sold at every step, but if you look and search, you can find, especially at the local grocery markets. Cook them in boiling oil directly to your eyes (although sometimes they are sold with the trays already pre-cooked), put in bags or paper bags, add salt, sauce, spices, some leaves. The taste is nothing special – something crunchy and salty – but the beer is even nothing. One small bag costs 20 baht (currency of Thailand, the exchange rate). You can order a mix of different "snakes" to choose from that will be slightly more expensive. In any case, it's worth a try.
Fruit in Thailand
In Thailand, you can try Luba fruits, ranging from our traditional Apple and ending with the most exotic durian, mangosteen, etc. it's impossible to meet only some very rare, exotic fruit of Africa and South America.
Traditional familiar fruits, such as apples, pears, grapes, strawberries, in Thailand, though there are, but standing expensive. Mostly imported fruits (and therefore expensive), or grow only in certain cool mountain areas of Thailand, as too the hot climate of the tropics they do not stand up.
But are inexpensive and are present in great abundance mango, pineapple, lychee, durian, rambutan, mangosteen, longan, carambola, jackfruit, papaya, and many others. For example, a kilogram of mangoes can be found for 20 baht, one pineapple, fresh coconut or a huge Pummelos for the same 20 baht. Meet all the exotic fruit in Thailand all year round, as even they have their seasons of ripening. You can read more about the exotic fruits and their seasons here.
But low prices for fruit are not everywhere. In tourist areas in the markets the price can be even higher than in supermarkets. The lowest prices, as a rule, can be found at local markets in provincial towns or at markets along the trails. In tourist areas the cheaper fruits in big supermarkets than in the markets where you would normally inflate prices for tourists.
The price of fruit is in most cases already written on the price tags, the price is given per piece or per kilogram. Bargain when buying fruit is not accepted, the price is rather low. But if you see that the seller explicitly impudent and "aches" price, especially for tourist, you can haggle or just go to another dealer. By the way, I should say that the high prices in the markets for tourists is still justified, as these markets are usually expensive rental shopping sites to shopping malls or crowded streets.
Which is very convenient, some of the fruits are sold already peeled and deveined. This applies mainly to large fruit. So, you don't have to suffer with pineapple, jackfruit, papaya, durian, mistletoe, mango. A fresh coconut open with you and give you a straw for the juice and a spoonful of pulp.
Where to eat in Thailand?
The Thais eat mainly outside the home: cooking at home is not accepted. Of course they are not in the tourist restaurants and "their" institutions, whose menu typically consists of one or two items, and the interior of several plastic tables. Everywhere on the street you can see the trucks or stalls immediately and prepare and sell food, which you can take home with them – for example the chicken in the sauce, skewers of potatoes or meat, sausage. Is all this possible, the prices are very low.
There is truth in these places, one thing about the smell. The mixed smell of rotten fish, and meat is still not clear what. Those who first encounter this smell in areas of cooking, shy away from this place for a dozen metres with a firm decision never to come. That smell, the kitchen obliged, mainly fish sauce, which, incidentally, is widespread not only in Thailand but also in Asia generally. This sauce is made from rotten fish. Rather, it is simply the juice of rotten fish. First, this may seem terrifying, but it's no wonder Asians are so fond of this sauce. Remember when you first tried olives or soy sauce... fish sauce by the Way, as well as the soy once, has already appeared on the shelves of our shops and even stuck on the shelves in some kitchens.
If you disdain to eat in local eateries, we recommend you to eat in the dining halls or food courts (food court). These are rather serious, clean establishment, generally available in all major supermarkets and shopping malls. Here prepare delicious, diverse, and quality food. There you can eat everything from Russian dumplings to fiery spicy Tom Yam. Prices are very reasonable: 100 baht (100) can be completely satisfied. Alcoholic drinks are not sold there.
Service in such places is usually as follows: you buy the cashier a plastic card, for example for 200 baht, then go to the numerous stalls, there choose something. The cook takes your card, right in front of you preparing the dish, giving the card together with the cheque and dish. When you exit, you give the card, and you return the unspent money. In General, everything happens as well, or something, with different variations.
A bit more expensive to eat in restaurants, cafés or bars. Such establishments in the tourist areas a lot, you can pick up a place for every taste – expensive or cheap, quiet or noisy. There are many Russian restaurants, German, Italian, Chinese and other. A lot of restaurants specializing in seafood, floating or crawling in the aquarium display.
In Thailand is very developed network of small supermarkets "7/11", "Family mart", "Friendship Market" and the large "Big C", "Lotus", and many others. In tourist areas they are almost at every step. In any of these stores you will always find something edible, and even quite European. In General, from hunger in Thailand, even the lazy ones will not die.
Attention! The country has a law under which to sell alcoholic beverages at retail only from 11:00 to 14:00 and from 17:00 to 24:00. Entertainment centres have the right to sell alcohol only from 21:00 to 24:00.
As for water, as usual in Asia, you should not drink water from the tap. Brush your teeth, wash your face with water from the tap. Bottled water is sold everywhere. The price is 10 baht (20 cents) per bottle. In hotel in room daily put up for free a couple of bottles of water.
Very common juices that they drink both fresh and with ice. A lot of carbonated beverages.
Thais, especially young people, drink a lot energy drinks. But this is not the same energy that we used to see on our shelves. The most popular of them – M-150, very good taste. But be careful, M-150, Shark, .357, Red Buffalo and other energy in large quantities is bad, on the bottle is written not more than 2 pieces a day. Do not drink before you sleep, it will be very difficult to sleep.
Thai people don't drink (I mean alcohol). Or at least were, until the tourists have not spoiled. Diet alcoholic beverages are rich, but mainly due to imported beverages. Import duties on alcohol products in Thailand are high, so prices on imported drinks high. Local beverages – beer, whisky and wine.
Beer in Thailand is very popular and good quality. Usually it is bottled in small bottles or cans of 0.33 l, or large 0.6 L. Popular brands: Singha (from 60 baht for 0,6 l), Tiger (55 baht), Leo (55 baht), Chang, Kloster, Amarit. Almost everywhere ", Heineken" and "Carlsberg". The most popular kind of beer is Singha, about 90% of the Thai market. It's pretty strong-6 degrees, so if you want to keep a clear head as long as possible and not to fall asleep ahead of time, the preference for light beer of the same class - Gold. Beer Kloster and Amarit has a single manufacturer. These stamps for those who believe too strong Singha and Carlsberg too expensive.
In Thailand produce local whiskies. They are cheap and quite satisfactory quality. Good Mekong drink soda water or Cola, ice and lemon green. Song Thip whiskey made from sugar cane, it is somewhat more expensive than the Mekong, but no less strong. The cost of a small bottle of Mekong - 80 baht.
In Thailand make wine as exotic palm-wine from pineapple and ordinary grape. But the quality of the local wine is very far from the level of Italian or French brands. If you want to order in the restaurant, imported wine, remember about the very high margins on imports.
Definitely treat yourself to a homemade alcoholic cocktail in a coconut. He does so: nadate fresh opened coconut a little coconut milk and add some whiskey, rum or brandy. If you add moderate, the pleasure is guaranteed, especially if the coconut milk cool. For the record: fresh coconut on the street costs 10 to 30 baht.