Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thailand Street Food

Thai street food for many years had a bad reputation and was strictly “taboo” for most tourists to the Kingdom of Thailand, it was generally viewed as somewhat unhygienic, and rumours abounded that consumption of it could lead to serious stomach complaints(if you know what I mean!!).
It was therefore very much left to the early backpackers to be the “guinea-pigs”, as they tended to travel on a shoestring, and were not too fussed where their next meal was coming from.
But amazingly, the backpackers survived, and slowly but surely Thai street food become established & fully accepted by tourists from all over the world, and today is recognised by many(myself included),as being probably the finest exponent of “real” Thai Culinary cuisine available.
Given the choice of eating in a swanky air-conditioned “restaurant” or a roadside traditional Thai “eatery”, personally I would choose the eatery EVERYTIME.
Thai eating habits also lend themselves perfectly to street meals,as typically a Thai person will normally eat many smaller meals per day rather than the Western preference of just three larger meals at set times.
These smaller meals added to the Thai tradition of meeting outside the house,means that Thai street food is the ideal way for most Thai people to socialise & eat at the same time.
I remember reading an article a few years ago that stated that “the average Thai person eats a meal outside of the home seventeen times PER WEEK”, now I would never have believed that had I not actually lived here and seen it for myself!.
Generally, food in Thailand is so cheap, that it is often cheaper to eat out than to prepare & cook at home.
There is a wide ranging “army” of Thai street food sellers,dedicated to satisfying the culinary needs of the Thai population, the most”established” of these will typically own/rent a small “unit”, that looks somewhat like a garage, has as many tables and chairs as they can cram into it and onto the pavement directly in front of it.They generally tends to specialise in either noodle dishes,rice dishes or chicken dishes.

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