Understanding how Thai people eat provides a greater understanding of the food and people. Here are a few tips on how to eat like the Thais do.
In the West, food is brought out in a certain order: Appetiser, Main Dish, and Dessert. In Thailand, there are really only two courses in a Thai meal: The food and the dessert.
When I travel it also makes me think of the difference of the eating styles between Western and Thai. I often noticed groups of foreign tourists, they ordered everything for themselves. But that is not exactly what we do here. J
Thais always eat ‘FAMILY STYLE’, we order many dishes, which sit in the centre of the table that everyone shares.
Everyone has a plate of rice! Rice (ข้าว kâao) is the base of a Thai meal. When you order your food at a restaurant, you also have to order rice, it doesn’t come automatically.
HOW DO WE ORDER FOOD?
You should try to order a good balance of dishes. Ordering four coconut milk-based curries is a bad idea.
I suggest you to order one fried vegetable dish, one soup or curry and one uncooked dish, or deep-fried dish. This also allows you to truly sample the variety of Thai cooking.
And from my personal experience, it is also a good idea to remember to not order all spicy dishes. Sometimes I do that and that is not good for my stomach.
HOW THE THAIS EAT?
1. We use a spoon ช้อน (cháwn) and a fork (ส้อม sâwn). We hold a spoon in the right hand and a fork in the left hand.
2. When eating with others, we should use A SERVING SPOON in Thai is called ช้อนกลาง (cháwn glaang). We use this to spoon out your spoon-size servings onto your dish.
HOW MUCH TO TAKE?
This is important thing – take only one or two spoonful at a time from the center dish, and eat them with the rice before proceeding onto the next dish you wish to try. Please don’t pile 10 dishes on top of your rice and mix. Thais like to savor each dish on it’s own, and not mix the flavours. If you mix them onto your rice, the flavors will mix.
When finished with your meal, your plate should be clean, unless you were given too much rice. It should NOT have huge piles of food on it that you took from the main dishes and didn’t eat.