From birth to death Thai people are immersed in a culture that revolves around food. Births, deaths, marriages, honouring the departed or the gods, from the early morning dawn offerings to the monks, to the late night noodle stalls that line the streets of every town and city, food plays a key role in every facet of life.
“Food offers more than nourishment alone; it is sustenance for the country and the soul”
David Thompson, Food writer and owner of Nahm in London, the first ever Thai restaurant to receive a Michelin star.
Thai cuisine is an enigma. It is so distinctive compared to its various neighbours in Asia. Yet Thai cuisine is both unique and is also a result of centuries and generations of influences from the rest of Asia. They say that Thai cuisine is reflective of its people. The Thai or Siamese empire was once a mighty power. There is a fierce sense of nation and a sense of self in Thai people. In the food there are many influences of that past. Thai culture is such that these influences have been accepted and adopted and made an integral part of the cuisine. An amazing example is the chilli. As key an ingredient to Thai food as potato is to Ireland. Yet the humble chilli was only absorbed into Thai cooking about a century ago!!