Personal experience is perhaps the most valuable information in any field. Cooking, and especially national cuisine, is no exception. Let’s look at Thai cuisine through the eyes of Denis Gromov. Last winter, he explored the national gastronomic culture of Thailand. After studying at two culinary schools and an internship in the famous restaurants of Bangkok and Phuket, Denis generously shares his discoveries.Thai dishes have extremely bright flavors and indispensable spiciness. The most popular among Thais are sweet-sour and sour-spicy tastes. Any local chef is distinguished by his mastery of creating a taste balance. For example, it will extinguish the sweetness of palm sugar by adding sour sauce from tamarind or lime, the salt balance will be replenished with a special fish sauce. The balance of the sharp is also masterfully created. According to experienced chefs, in order to learn how to regulate the level of spicy in cooking Thai dishes, the cook must know all levels of spiciness right down to the extreme.
It should be noted that not all Thais love spicy things. National traditions of serving, when all dishes are served at the same time, allow each guest at the table to create their own balance of spicy, regulating it with rice, soups and refreshing the mouth with fresh vegetables.
The territory of Thailand is smaller than the Arkhangelsk region, however, as many as four independent gastronomic schools make up Thai national cuisine. This is not surprising if you look at a map of the country, stretched from north to south and crossing three climatic zones.
1. So, the north of Thailand, with the center in Chiang Mai. Here, culinary preferences are unconditionally given to soups and curries. It is defined by a rather cool climate for the tropical zone. A characteristic feature of the dishes of the Northern School is moderate severity. Also, the active use of pork, which can not be said about other parts of the country. Local pork sausages with garlic and rice are widespread throughout the country and now they are a traditional part of the street food menu anywhere in Thailand.
2. Repeating a noticeable “lunge” of the country’s territory to the East on the map, the Northeast Gastronomic School stands apart. Its traditions were formed by the centuries-old competition of Thais for these lands with neighboring ethnic groups. It clearly reflected the gastronomic motifs of the Khmer culture of Cambodia and the tribes of Laos. The latter, for example, borrowed the famous spicy Thai salad of green papaya (Som Tam). In the northeast, sticky rice is preferred to white rice, which is eaten by hand, forming balls and dipping in sauces. Grilled chicken pre-marinated in a mixture of local herbs and garlic and cooked on charcoal is very popular in this region. Also, grilled fish is cooked in shell of sea salt and herbs. The most noteworthy feature of the Northeastern school is the use of buffalo meat, which is not typical for other regions of the country, as well as a long list of beetles, larvae, grasshoppers, ants, lizards, geckos and frogs eaten.