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We not only pay attention to how a dish tastes: we are also concerned about how it looks, how it smells, and how it fits in with the rest of the meal. Today, however, most Thais eat with a fork and spoon. Janer (2008) observes that this sharing of the same plato nacional by different countries calls into question the idea that every country has a unique national dish that is special to that country; she states that cuisine does not respect national and geopolitical borders. It is known for its complex interplay of at least three and up to four or five fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: sour, sweet, salty, bitter and spicy. Like a complex musical chord it's got to have a smooth surface but it doesn't matter what's happening underneath.

They are tom yam goong (4th), pad thai (5th), som tam (6th), massaman curry (10th), green curry (19th), Thai fried rice (24th) and moo nam tok (36th). With certain dishes, such as khao kha mu (pork trotter stewed in soy sauce and served with rice), whole Thai peppers and raw garlic are served in addition to the sour chili sauce. Janer (2008) observes that this sharing of the same plato nacional by different countries calls into question the idea that every country has a unique national dish that is special to that country; she states that cuisine does not respect national and geopolitical borders. Thai food was traditionally eaten with the right hand[19][20] while seated on mats or carpets on the floor, customs still found in the more traditional households. The fork and spoon were introduced by King Chulalongkorn after his return from a tour of Europe in 1897 CE. The Chinese also introduced the use of a wok for cooking, the technique of deep-frying and stir-frying dishes, several types of noodles, taochiao (fermented bean paste), soy sauces, and tofu.[13] The cuisines of India and Persia, brought first by traders, and later settlers from these regions, with their use of dried spices, gave rise to Thai adaptations and dishes such as kaeng kari (yellow curry)[14] and kaeng matsaman (massaman curry).

The food is pushed by the fork, held in the left hand, into the spoon held in the right hand, which is then brought to the mouth.[22] A traditional ceramic spoon is sometimes used for soup, and knives are not generally used at the table.[1] It is common practice for the both the Thais and the hill tribe peoples who live in north and northeast Thailand, to use sticky rice as an edible implement by shaping it into small, and sometimes flattened, balls by hand (and only the right hand by custom) which are then dipped into side dishes and eaten. Common flavors in Thai food come from garlic, galangal, coriander/cilantro, lemon grass, shallots, pepper, kaffir lime leaves, shrimp paste, fish sauce, and chilies. Janer (2008) observes that this sharing of the same plato nacional by different countries calls into question the idea that every country has a unique national dish that is special to that country; she states that cuisine does not respect national and geopolitical borders. These may include: phrik nam pla/nam pla phrik (fish sauce, lime juice, chopped chilies and garlic), dried chili flakes, sweet chili sauce, sliced chili peppers in rice vinegar, sriracha sauce, and even sugar. They often feature as a garnish, especially with one-dish meals. An important concept with dining etiquette in the Thai manner is khluk: mixing the flavors and textures from the different dishes with the rice from ones plate. In the case of Thailand, these words come to mind: intricacy; attention to detail; texture; color; taste; and the use of ingredients with medicinal benefits, as well as good flavor.

With certain dishes, such as khao kha mu (pork trotter stewed in soy sauce and served with rice), whole Thai peppers and raw garlic are served in addition to the sour chili sauce. Non-glutinous rice is also used for making fried rice dishes, and for congee, of which there are three main varieties: khao tom (a thin rice soup, most often with minced pork or fish), khao tom kui (a thick, unflavored rice porridge that is served with side dishes), or chok (a thick rice porridge that is flavored with broth and minced meat). Janer (2008) observes that this sharing of the same plato nacional by different countries calls into question the idea that every country has a unique national dish that is special to that country; she states that cuisine does not respect national and geopolitical borders. Thai food is known for its enthusiastic use of fresh (rather than dried) herbs and spices. Meats used in Thai cuisine are usually pork and chicken, and also duck, beef, and water buffalo. A Thai family meal would normally consist of rice with several dishes which should form a harmonious contrast of flavors and textures as well as preparation methods. These may include: phrik nam pla/nam pla phrik (fish sauce, lime juice, chopped chilies and garlic), dried chili flakes, sweet chili sauce, sliced chili peppers in rice vinegar, sriracha sauce, and even sugar. In his book The Principles of Thai Cookery, celebrity chef, writer and authority on Thai cuisine McDang wrote: "What is Thai food? Every country in the world has its own food profile.