Why Is Thai Food So Popular Right Now?
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In the last few years, Thai food has become the hottest trending cuisine. From humble street vendors to fancy restaurants with Michelin stars, there is no shortage of places to get your Thai fix. A glance at any list of “trendy” foods will tell you that everything from poke to kimchi is having a moment right now. But why is that? What makes Thai food stand out so much as compared to other Asian cuisines

Popular ingredients that are zingy, zesty, and bold are used in this cuisine, which has earned a reputation for its deliciousness. Among those are Lemongrass, Galangal, Lime, and Chili. These crisp ingredients, whether added fresh or dry, all contribute distinctive, signature Thai flavors. Lesser coconut milk is used in Thai cooking than in Western cooking, so the underlying flavors can really shine.

Thai Food Is Fresh And Healthy

If there’s one thing that defines Thai food, it is the ‘freshness’. When you’re eating a Thai dish, you can almost taste the freshness of the ingredients because of the emphasis on local produce, fresh seafood, and an abundance of herbs and vegetables. Unlike many other Asian cuisines, Thai food is completely natural and healthy as can be, and that’s part of what makes it so appealing.

The Rise Of Food Culture In Thailand

In the last decade especially, the rise of food culture in Thailand has led to a huge increase in the popularity of Thai food. As more people travel to Thailand and experience authentic Thai food first-hand, the craze for Thai food starts to grow. Food is an important part of the Thai identity — it’s an art and a form of expression. It has grown to a point where the Thai government is also said to have taken an interest in promoting Thai cuisine, especially in the U.S. A Vice article from 2018 noted that the Thai government had taken the lead on this ‘gastrodiplomacy’.

Unique And Diverse Flavors

Thai food is incredibly diverse. There are plenty of different cuisines out there that boast a wide variety of dishes, but not all of them can claim as much diversity as Thai food does. It has influences from all over the place — it has Chinese, Indian, and even French influences - and blends them into a fabulous combination that has become a favorite the world over. The influences are evident in the flavors and textures, but the final product is unlike anything else in those cuisines, or indeed anything else out there.

Authenticity Is Important For Consumers

Thai hospitality, a big factor in the Thai way of life, encourages outsiders to immerse themselves in Thailand’s captivating culture by way of food. Authenticity plays a significant role here - authenticity and cultural value are important in a world of grifters and make believe. Part of the reason Thai food’s popularity keeps growing is that it’s a cuisine that is deeply rooted in its own culture. Authenticity is important in any cuisine, but it’s especially important in Thai food because Thai people are proud of their culture and want others to see the beauty in it. The food, and its preparation, is seen as a reflection of culture, which has gained new currency in our multicultural world. 

Thai Dishes Are Versatile

All of the above factors go together to make Thai food incredibly versatile. Being authentic and diverse means that you can use Thai food in a wide range of contexts. Thai food can be eaten as a snack, as an appetizer, or as a main course. It can be spicy, mild, rich or light.

Here are some well-known and must-visit Thai restaurants across India that provide the right kind of Thai experience we have discussed:

Vintage Asia, Kolkata at JW Marriott's hotel is a fine dining establishment that stands out for its Thai Sweet Basil served with Jasmine Rice and Tom Yum soup. This is one of the finer restaurants in the city, and will cost approximately Rs 3500 for two people. 

Nara in BKC, Mumbai is different from other local eateries because it offers authentic Thai food. A full Thai meal costs around Rs 3000 for two people. 

Rim Naam, Bengaluru, is the Thai restaurant in The Oberoi hotel on MG Road. You can enjoy the beautiful surroundings while sitting in a wooden shelter reminiscent of a Thai summer pagoda. Their Phad Thai, Jasmine Rice, Thai Curry, and Spring Rolls are particularly popular, and a meal for two will cost you around Rs 4000.  

Neung Roi in Delhi is part of the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel near the airport. This restaurant offers delicacies from both southern and northern Thailand, and is popular for its Pad Thai Noodles, Thai Green Curry, Pork, and Prawn. The food is great, and will cost you around Rs 2500 for two people.  

If you’re bored of the same old food and have never tried Thai cuisine, now is the right time. You’ve most probably got Thailand on your bucket list, so check out the food – like most of us, you’ll most probably fall in love with it. Whether you love the freshness of Thai food or the (very) wide variety of flavors, there’s something for everyone in this cuisine!