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Analysis of Identifying the Four Foundations of Thai Cuisine

by joeymcbride

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It only took a boom in foreign tourism in Thailand in the 1960s for Thai cuisine to disperse its influence throughout the globe. Today, prominent Thai cuisine such as Tom Yam and Pad Thai are appropriated by foreign epicureans and chefs in major cities all over the globe. Thai dishes owe their popularity to the light yet distinct balance of sweet and sour, hot and salty generating a sophistication of odor and taste. Thai meals are served with sauces and dressings, consisting of fish sauce, lime juice, chopped chilies, and garlic, among others.

Sources for primary styles of Thai cuisine correspond with the four primary areas of the nation: Northeastern (Isan), Central (Bangkok), Northern (Lanna), and Southern. Thai food bears the rich flavors of its next-door neighbors such as China, Burma, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Malaysia.

Central Thai

Central Thai dishes are most generally served in Thai dining establishments all over. Being the center, local cuisines converge here to create a typical image of Thai food for immigrants. A popular dish is the tom yum goong, a variety of the popular Thai lemongrass soup served with shrimp.

Northeastern Thai

If you want Thai dishes that are loaded with flavors, Isan Thai may just be what you're seeking. This regional food boasts of having created the spiciest salads in Thai food, also served in many Thai restaurants in NYC. Its most famous dish is the som tam, a spiced-up salad made mostly from green or unripe papaya.

Northern Thai

The north area of Thailand can get incredibly cold and its food is rare in some Thai bistros around the Big Apple. Still, there are some NYC Thai restaurants that serve amazing dishes prepared by tribesmen of the cold north. Northern Thai food is renowned for the khao soi, a form of curry based on coconut milk. Khao soi is seasoned with curry powder and served over Chinese egg noodles.

Southern Thai

If Isan Thai isn't spicy enough for you, Southern Thai food, the spiciest of the 4, may please you. This regional dish is popular for its fish and shellfish dishes, the area being sandwiched between two seas. For more info on this local cuisine, and others served in a Thai restaurant in NYC, visit the website at

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