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Thai food

Thai cuisine refers to typical foods, beverages, and cooking styles common to the country of Thailand. Thai Cuisine is known for being hot and spicy and its balance of five fundamental flavors in each dish or the overall meal - hot (spicy), sour, sweet, salty and bitter (optional). Although popularly considered as a single cuisine, Thai food would be more accurately described as four regional cuisines corresponding to the four main regions of the country: Northern, Northeastern (or Isan), Central and Southern, each cuisine sharing similar foods or derived from those of neighboring countries. Southern curries, for example, tend to contain coconut milk and fresh turmeric, while northeastern dishes often include lime juice.

Thai food is known for its enthusiastic use of fresh (rather than dried) herbs and spices as well as fish sauce. Thai food is popular in many Western countries especially in Australia, New Zealand, some countries in Europe such as the United Kingdom, as well as the United States, and Canada.

Instead of a multiple main course with side dishes found in Western cuisine, a Thai full meal typically consists of either a single dish or rice khao (Thai: ข้าว) with many complementary dishes served concurrently.

Rice is a staple component of Thai cuisine, as it is of most Asian cuisines. The highly prized, sweet-smelling jasmine rice (khao hohm mali) is indigenous to Thailand. This naturally aromatic long-grained rice grows in abundance in the verdant patchwork of paddy fields that blanket Thailand's central plains. Steamed rice is accompanied by highly aromatic curries, stir-frys and other dishes, incorporating sometimes large quantities of chillies, lime juice and lemon grass. Curries, stir-frys and others may be poured onto the rice creating a single dish called khao rad gang (Thai: ข้าวราดแกง), a popular meal when time is limited. Sticky rice (khao neow, Thai: ข้าวเหนียว) is a unique variety of rice that contains an unusual balance of the starches present in all rice, causing it to cook up to a sticky texture. It is the daily bread of Laos and substitutes ordinary rice in rural Northern and Northeastern Thai cuisine, where Lao cultural influence is strong.


The article above is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Thai cuisine".