International Foods Project By Meagan Adkins Block: A2

General Knowledge For Dinner In Thailand

In Thailand dinner is the main meal and it is eaten as a family. Unlike in the US, Thai hold their spoon in their right hand and a fork in the left. They push the food onto the spoon to eat and generally do not use knives because the food is served in bite size pieces. If you are a guest to the Thai, you should take small portions of various dishes from the center of the table that you will eat with rice. You will typically receive a second helping and are normally encouraged to eat as much as you can. When the meal is complete, place the utensils together on the plate.

Food Etiquette

While not involving tightly buttoned collars and arcane cutlery, there are a few unique things about Thai table manners that you should be aware of. Most of the manners of Thai eating come from the fact that most Thai meals are taken communally rather than in small groups or couples. That means that you probably don't want to order a steak that you'll devour yourself. Since dining is such a social activity and status matters so much in Thai society many of the rules of etiquette are based on perceived status among the group.

The Need To Know On Thailand Dining


1.) Take your time and pick at your food; enjoy the conversation and the laughter and the sense of community.
  • 2.) Pick up the check if it comes to you; in Thai society the person who is perceived to be the richest pays. Nine times out of ten this will be you. On the other hand don't try to contribute if someone else is paying the bill, it takes away from their status and 'face'.
  • 3.) Make sure to take only small portions of each dish so there's enough to go around.
  • 4.) Finish everything on your plate; it lets the host know you enjoyed the meal.
  • 5.) Let the senior ladies of the group do the ordering; it's tradition.
  • 6.)Wait for the host to invite you to dig in.
  • 7.) Expect a wide variety of dishes and flavours; part of the trick to ordering Thai food is to get a balance of sweet, sour, salty and spicy.
  • 8.) Serve yourself but only what you can eat in two or three mouthfuls.
  • DONT'S

    1.) Don't leave your chopsticks in the bowl, it symbolizes death and is very bad luck.
  • 2.) Don't order one dish that you intend to eat by yourself. Thai meals are always shared.
  • 3.) Don't feel bad about adding condiments to flavour your food to your taste.
  • 4.) Don't wait for all of the food to come out before you eat it, Thai meals are leisurely affairs and the food just keeps on coming.
  • 5.) Don't use your fork to put food in your mouth, instead use it to push your food onto your spoon.
  • 6.) Don't look around for your knife - you won't need one as everything is cut up for you.
  • Holidays

    New Years

    Thailand celebrates three different new years. Songkran is the most widely celebrated holiday. This day use to coincide with the lunar cycles but is now fixed in mid April. During this time in which, depending on the area you are end can last up to two weeks, people ride around dousing each other with water and throw aromatic flowers in each others faces. This is thoughgt to bring good luck. People may also have their hands washed by respected elders and this is thought to bless them with health and happiness in the New Year.

    Royal Holidays

    There are several holidays to commemorate the monarchy. They celebrate the birthday of the kings mother and consider that to be Mother's Day since they consider her to be the Mother of all Thai people. They also commemorate King Bhumibol Adulyeadej’s birthday as a national celebration. Chulalongkorn Day celebrates the King for introducing the railroad, abolishing slavery, and modernizing Thailand.

    Cuisine For the Holidays

    The Thai tend to enjoy more traditional and popular dishes like: steamed fish in banana leaf, stir fried morning glory, roasted duck curry and a variety of types of stir fried noodles to name a few, on their holidays. The cooking style varies and reflects the regions’ produce and tradition but the dishes are all about a balance of texture and an explosion of flavours.Thai food is all about fresh and low-fat qualities as ingredients are sourced fresh. An important aspect of Thai food is hospitality and friendliness. The enjoyment of good companionship and eating is a favourite past-time that’s ingrain in Thai’s culture.

    Agricultural Products

    1. Rice
    2. Fish
    3. Cassava (Known to Americans as Tapioca) : If prepared incorrectly can produce cyanide, a deadly compound when consumed.
    4. Grain
    5. Sugarcane
    6. Corn
    7. Coconuts
    8. Soybeans

    Common Herbs and Spices Within Thai Cuisine

    Exotic Foods

    Popular Thai Dishes