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Jingthing

Thais Are Not Very Open To Their Neighbors Cooking!

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Look at a map.

Surrounding Thailand are some countries with some of the most amazing cooking styles on the planet!

And yet there are so FEW restaurants in Thailand offering this food. Its weird.

Cambodian, rather boring food and damaged by the massacre, understandable lack of Khmer cooking here

Lao, lots of Lao cooking, however understandable considering the huge cultural influence of Isaan, so Lao food has become Thai food

Vietnam, there should be pho and bun shops in every neighborhood, great food, very different from Thai, still rare here

Sing/Malay, fantastically interesting, almost impossible to find here

Nonya, as above

Indonesian, as above

Burmese, mainly only street stalls rather then any real restaurants, a great blend/fusion cuisine

Sechuan, hard to find hard core authentic Sechuan food here

Hunan, have never come across it in Thailand

Another exception, Indian. Plenty of Indian places but not very many Thai customers other than Thai Indians.

These places are SO CLOSE, yet their food here is SO FAR. Is this culinary xenophobia?

Edited by Jingthing

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while it's easy to call it xenophobic, i would put it down to culinary ignorance. However, it is changing - albeit slowly.

funny when i read the title of this thread, i thought it was about thai neighbors complaining about your cooking aromas.

as such, my neighbors sometimes look at me strangely when I am bbq 4x a week.

I am sure the first thought is "hmm those steaks smell good"

When they realise they ain't getting any "dam_n farang and his stinky farang food" :o

Edited by bkkjames

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while it's easy to call it xenophobic, i would put it down to culinary ignorance.

Yes, culinary xenophobia is simply a construct, take it or leave it.

However, it is rather evident that Thais compared to say Americans are very much NOT adventurous in the eating department. They may eat insects and raw pork and super spicy (as long as it is spiced THEIR way) but for the most part they only want the same old, same old. Is there even one Peruvian restaurant in the entire country, and if there was, would Thai people eat there? Peruvian is considered the next big thing on the international food trend similar to the early days of the international Thai food wave. How many DECADES before there is even one Peruvian place in Thailand? Just an example.

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A lot of the reason is because they were never colonized. A lot of different cuisines were introduced to neighboring countries and the people became more open to trying them. As an example, I remember in Phnom Phen I went to a small taco bell style Mexican restaurant. I couldn't believe it, I was the only white person in the place, and there were half a dozen Cambodians, chowing down on burritos and tacos!

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I don't buy the colonization argument. Take Argentina. They were colonized and they are a people who for the most part are radically set in their ways about what is acceptable food, and what isn't. They do some things very well (beef spiced only with salt, gelato, pizza, empenadas pies, desserts made with Dulce de Leche, milenesa schnitzel-like cutlets, pasta not so well, almost no vegetables) and that is what you will find on the menus on 99 percent of the eateries in the country. Unlike the Thais, they are extremely spice phobic with the exception of chimichurri sauce for their meat which most Argies actually don't touch because it has garlic. Like the Thais, they believe their style of food is the best in the world.

Edited by Jingthing

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Never join a Thai tour group to an overseas destination if you do not want to hear their endless grumbling on foreign food. Where is the fish sauce? It's not spicy. Add more sugar. Wish we have some lime here....tutututu......

One weakness of Thai food - you do not get to taste the meat or seafood, you taste only the sauces. Ask a Thai if he or she knows the real taste of prawn or crab meat, and it is head scratching time.

Edited by trogers

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I have to agree with alot of the above. But things are improving..slowly. Ten years ago I wouldn't have believed that Thais would ever eat Japanese food but now the Malls are packed with Sushi places.

Yes when they go overseas they really do seem lost without their own food and pretty unwilling to try anything else.. Though I hate to generalise as my GF and her sister both love 'farang' food and seem to prefer Italian food to almost anything else.. They have finally realised that food doesn't have to be blisteringly hot to be delicious..

Going to Europe opened their eyes to flavour. Mainly because the cold water fish/shellfish there has so much flavour when compared to the warm water variety they could enjoy it without 'nam jim' or other overpowering flavours.. Same could be said about Lamb, Beef and preserved meats like bacon/ham.

They understand now that western food often relies on wholly the quality of it's ingredients for flavour. Tastless meat/fish etc leads to a tasteless dishes.. Thai food on the other hand has less emphasis on the quality/flavour of the meat/fish.. The use of aromatics (garlic, chilli etc) produces the flavour and adding herbs at the end of the coking process adds aroma..

Seems that once they get the simple, tasty, fresh food message they really can enjoy other cuisines..

Travelling is good for people of all nationalities. and Thais have only recently begun to travel.. 20yrs back Singaporeans were the same.. Only eating Singaporean food.. Now the place is awash with foreign restaurants and they travel and experiment with new food often.

Thailand will eventually do the same.. It's just another step on the road to full developement.. Even the UK was the same in the late 60's The upper classed may have eaten continental food but the masses never did until the boom in package tourism took them to Europe and they discovered new favorites..

Like Jingthing. I'm amazed at the ignorance of Thai about the food of neigboring countries.. especially Malaysian and Viet food.. Two of my favourites.. Even simple Malay/Indian food like Murtabak, Biryani and Nasi Lemak that have local equivelents here are very pale imatations of the original. Others that share things with Thai cuisine like Otak otak and Asam Laksa simply don't exist here.. which is a shame.

Once again I can only blame the Govt and their inward looking 'Thai is best' attitude that prevent people from being more curious about the World..

Edited by Pdaz

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Imagine the USA without Mexican restaurants! But, funny thing, I never once came across a CANADIAN restaurant in the US.

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Never join a Thai tour group to an overseas destination if you do not want to hear their endless grumbling on foreign food. Where is the fish sauce? It's not spicy. Add more sugar. Wish we have some lime here....tutututu......

Keep in mind Thai's are used to "customizing" their food for each person's own tastes. You aren't supposed to eat the food as its served to you, you're supposed to use fish sauce, sugar, various chili sauces to make it taste like how you want. The idea that food should only be eaten as served (or will a little extra salt) takes away a whole fun aspect of eating.

Imagine the USA without Mexican restaurants! But, funny thing, I never once came across a CANADIAN restaurant in the US.

They're called Tim Horton's, and they're spreading everywhere. :o

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Imagine the USA without Mexican restaurants! But, funny thing, I never once came across a CANADIAN restaurant in the US.

our tastes are too well refined for you JT :o

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Imagine the USA without Mexican restaurants! But, funny thing, I never once came across a CANADIAN restaurant in the US.

our tastes are too well refined for you JT :o

Yeah, I had that poutine once, a good excuse to have an enema.

BTW, checked the Tim Horton's menu. That is just fast food, the same type of items you would find at a USA fast food chain. BTW, I do love Canada and have had great fun eating there, as long as you keep your loonies in check.

Edited by Jingthing

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.....................

One weakness of Thai food - you do not get to taste the meat or seafood, you taste only the sauces. Ask a Thai if he or she knows the real taste of prawn or crab meat, and it is head scratching time.

I disagree with you here. The spices and herbs in the sauce do not disguise the flavour of the meat or fish. Many farang who are not used to eating spicey food can only taste the chillies. This is not true of people who are used to it.

I agree that Thais are generally not very adventurous with their cooking, not often willing to try something new. I cook a lot of meals loosely based on Thai recipes, but with my own influence and my gf enjoys it. I notice that a lot of Thais have taken to pizzas and spaghetti with Italian herb sauces. I don't know why that is.

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Pretty much the entire world goes for pasta. The reason for its popularity in Asia is obvious -- noodles! It all came from China anyway.

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They'll eat pizza and pasta, but most of them eat it 'Thai' style. They drench the stuff in ketchup, hence why you get a dozen packets of the stuff when ordering pizza hut. Even seen some pour ketchup on to pasta carbonara. Yuck!

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They'll eat pizza and pasta, but most of them eat it 'Thai' style. They drench the stuff in ketchup, hence why you get a dozen packets of the stuff when ordering pizza hut. Even seen some pour ketchup on to pasta carbonara. Yuck!

Yes, of course that looks disgusting to most of us, but that's one thing I love about Thai people. Its very rare to find Thai foodies. They love food, they know what they like, if its arroy its good enough for them, really down to earth about it.

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