More Thai Food

Thai food has taken its rightful place as one of the world’s most interesting cuisines, famous for the subtle blend of flavors to be found in its sweet and sour and spicy soups and creamy coconut-milk curries, such as tom yam goong, gaeng kieow wahn, gaeng mussaman, and tom kha gai.  The reality ‘in country’, of course, is a bit different.  First of all, the Thai food in overseas restaurants is from the central and southern regions predominantly.  Except for lahp, which is starting to be found more in the US, almost no dishes come from the north or northeast, which are more influenced by Burma and Laos, respectively, than the Malaysian-inspired dishes of the south.  Second, some popular dishes in US restaurants, like pat thai and kaow pat, are street food in Thailand, and quite different from the stylized US restaurant versions.  The curries and soups, on the other hand, might be difficult to find in street stalls in Thailand and spring rolls next to impossible.  That’s Vietnam.  Probably the single most popular street food in Thailand, though, noodle soup, also originally from Vietnam, would be hard to find in a US-based Thai restaurant.