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Thai Cuisine – Of many flavours and colours

A veritable culinary delight that sets taste buds blazing, Thai cuisine is made up of an amalgamation of all things vibrant. Comprising of a large variety of dishes and specialities, Thai cuisine is first and foremost a balance of flavours and condiments. Sweet, sour, bitter and salty being the much-juggled-about flavours, Thai cuisine has often been described as a complex piece of music where disparate elements come together to create a beautiful harmony within a dish.

The complexity of flavours of Thai cuisine requires the fine art of balancing these flavours. The flavours are enhanced by a variety of fresh herbs and spices such as cilantro, garlic, lemongrass, soy beans, Thai basils, shallots, chilli, mint, ginger, galangal, tamarind, turmeric, white and black peppercorn, kaffir lime, and etc. Rice and noodles make up a significant part of Thai dishes while egg plants, leafy green vegetables, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, fish, pork and a variety of native fruits such as jackfruit, papaya, pomelo, mango, pineapple, mangosteen, langsat, longan, rose apples, Burmese grapes and durian are commonly used ingredients in Thai cuisine. Rice is the staple grain of Thai cuisine while the sweet-smelling and expensive jasmine rice which is indigenous to Thailand is quite popular and has become symbolic of Thai cuisine all over the world.

A Thai meal often consists of a single dish if eating alone or rice accompanied by multiple complementary dishes prepared using a number of cooking methods. Also served with Thai dishes are various sauces and pastes such as fish sauce, soy sauce, shrimp paste and Phrik nam pla, a traditional sauce that is a combination of fish sauce, lime juice, chillies and chopped garlic. An assortment of condiments is usually available for diners at every Thai restaurant, served in small containers and jars to flavour their dishes as required.

The variety of Thai dishes is truly astounding. A beautiful mixture of local ingredients, flavours and spices, these dishes are enjoyed not only by the people of Thailand, but also by individuals worldwide. One such best loved dish also referred to as the aroma of Thailand is Tom Yam Goong, a delicious soup, which carries within it succulent jumbo prawns, a variety of aromatic herbs that makes for a combination of hot and sour. Also popular is Pad Thai, a signature dish of noodles dressed with tofu, bean sprouts and onions. Khao man gai, a dish of chicken and rice is Britain’s answer to fish and chips, a simple yet delicious snack which is ideal s a main meal as well. When speaking of Thai food, one cannot forget the Kao Phad, a nostalgic mix of rice, a choice of meat or seafood together with a variety of spices and veggies.

If you are intent on experiencing Thai cuisine at its best, Thailand is the most obvious choice. Choose one of the star hotels in Bangkok which are known for their wide spread of authentic Thai dishes on offer. Vic3 Bangkok is one of the many three star hotels in Bangkok that is sure to satiate your taste buds while giving you good value for money. Grab a bite while you are in Bangkok and experience Thai culture at its best.

Jayani Senanayake is a writer who dabbles in travel and all things exotic. Under the pseudonym of Caliope Sage, she writes of the allures that must simply be discovered. Google+

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