Food dishes in Thailand are taste-bud popping plates of tantalizing yum. I would recommend to eat Thai the entire time you are there. (You will be disappointed after ordering Western food. Trust me.) Part of the experience of the Thai culture is the food. So dive in.
You may notice the large spoon that comes with every meal. In America, we use our fork in our right hand, and the fork becomes like a shovel to eat with. We had no idea what the spoon was for and assumed its purpose was for soup, if ordered. The spoon remained discarded on our table until about halfway through our trip. I happened to read on a menu how to properly eat Thai food.
In Thailand, the Thai people use their fork to scoop the dish and rice onto the spoon, and then the spoon is what takes the food to the mouth. The fork is merely used as a tool, a shovel, yes, but it does not go near the mouth.
Before I went to Thailand, I assumed they used chopsticks. This is obviously not so. Once we discovered the purpose of the spoon, we abandoned our American dinner table etiquette and began eating how the Thai people do. Thai dishes are an amazing cultural experience. Try as many as possible.
On a side-note, we had a lot of difficulty receiving our check at restaurants. A good thing to do is to ask for the check when the waiter brings your last food item or drink. Otherwise, they most likely will not come back. We sat at tables for long periods of time because we didn’t know how to obtain our check. I believe it has something to do with the culture and not wanting to seem rude and trying to rush you out of the restaurant. Of course, sometimes it is perfectly satisfying to sit back and enjoy the view. The bill, or a waiter, will come along eventually.
Text and Images © 2014 Rachel Routier
Re-print © 2014 The Black Lion Journal
Re-printed with permission.
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