Essential Guide to Thai Food Culture: 2021

Have you tried Thai cuisine? Not yet? It’s about time to go to a restaurant that serves Thai dishes, order their tasty food from their menu, and discover how amazing each dish you will have. Before you indulge in the various Thai dishes, it is essential to know the   Thai Food Culture to fully understand the different food and the locals’ eating routine.

This Thai Food Culture guide will walk you through what Thai cuisine has in store and give you the conviction of ordering one of the many other flavorful local dishes.

Thai Food Culture: Thai Cuisine’s Uniqueness

The Land of Smiles is composed of five different regions for its cuisine, namely:

  • Central Thailand: the place where they plant and grow rice, and the primary ingredients they used in their cuisine is coconut milk.
  • Southern Thailand: Spicy food lovers would be delighted to try Southern Thai cuisine as their dishes are extra fiery, hot, and salty. The food in this part of the region is inspired by Malaysia and Java, where chilies are the primary ingredient in preparing the food.  
  • Northern Thailand: The coolest part of the country offers various herbs and vegetables as the main ingredients to its dishes. The Northern dishes have been influenced by its neighboring countries like China, Laos, and Burma.
  • Northeastern Thailand (Isaan): The region offers exotic or a kind flavor of its dishes. People from Isaan are resourceful in preparing their food (whatever is available) in their way. 
  • Bangkok: The capital city of the country provides a wide variety of Thai dishes that have many influences from other countries such as Asian, European, and Western countries. 

Each region has its own popular delicacy and specialty, which makes every place unique and extraordinary. When you have the chance to try each region’s exceptional food, you will discover that the dish’s taste represents each place. 

Another Thai Food Culture tip that makes Thailand’s cuisine one of a kind are the dishes’ flavors; 

  • Spicy
  • Salty
  • Sweet
  • Sour 
  • Bitter

It is amazing how every dish is prepared delicately and carefully so that if you are a keen taster, you will notice that almost all the flavors are present in each serving. 

Table Etiquette: Thai Food Culture

Every country has its own rules when having a meal, and Thailand is not an exception. Therefore it’s necessary to be educated on the table etiquette of every place so that you know what you’re doing when the time comes that you dine in a Thai restaurant and with your Thai friends or colleagues. 

Let’s walk you through some of the Thai Food Culture and etiquette Thai’s observe when they have their meal.

  • Sharing is Caring. Take note of this Thai Food Culture when you eat out with some Thai people. Sharing is caring refers to the food you will be ordering. Thais eat like a family, so when you are in a group, don’t take a solo order. You should request a family-style dish so everybody can share all the servings that you get. 
  • Enjoy your food. When eating Thai dishes, it is a part of the Thai Food Culture to munch your food slowly and savor each bite. Never hurry in eating, especially if you are eating with Thais. You don’t want to sit and watch your companions for another hour while they enjoy their food just because you finished your meal quickly. Do you?
  • Slurping is a No-no. Don’t forget this Thai Food Culture when you are going to have your soup. Some countries eat their food and have their food noisily because their culture says that if you eat loudly, it means the food you are devouring is delicious. However, in Thailand, slurping your soup is impolite. The appropriate way of having your soup is to scoop it with your spoon and quietly take the spoon in your mouth. 
  • No wasting of food. It is impolite not to eat all the food on your plate. Therefore if there are dishes that you don’t want to (or can’t) eat, better explain why you can’t have the particular serving rather than leaving your plate untouched. Nobody will force you to finish everything, but isn’t it nice not to waste any food? 

Thais take their food seriously, that when they see each other, instead of asking “How are you?”, they will ask each other the question, “Have you eaten?”

In a nutshell, learning some of the Thai Food Culture will make you feel comfortable dining with the locals. What are you waiting for? Invite your friends, visit a nearby Thai restaurant, and apply the different Thai Food Cultures you learned from this article. 

Thanks a lot for spending the time to read Essential Guide to Thai Food Culture: 2021. Have a good time eating out!

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