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Thai farmers historically have cultivated tens of thousands of rice varieties. It's about the juggling of disparate elements to create a harmonious finish. It is now one of the most important ingredients in Thai cuisine, together with rice.[18] During the Columbian Exchange, Portuguese and Spanish ships brought new crops from the Americas including tomatoes, corn, papaya, pea eggplants, pineapple, pumpkins, culantro, cashews, and peanuts. We not only pay attention to how a dish tastes: we are also concerned about how it looks, how it smells, and how it fits in with the rest of the meal. The traditional recipe for a rice dish could include as many as 30 varieties of rice.[30] That number has been drastically reduced due to genetic modifications.

It is now one of the most important ingredients in Thai cuisine, together with rice.[18] During the Columbian Exchange, Portuguese and Spanish ships brought new crops from the Americas including tomatoes, corn, papaya, pea eggplants, pineapple, pumpkins, culantro, cashews, and peanuts. They were introduced to Thailand by the Hokkien people starting in the 15th century, and by the Teochew people who started settling in larger numbers from the late 18th century CE onward, mainly in the towns and cities, and now form the majority of the Thai Chinese.[10][11][12] Such dishes include chok Thai: โจ๊ก (rice porridge), salapao (steamed buns), kuaitiao rat na (fried rice-noodles) and khao kha mu (stewed pork with rice). Chopsticks are mainly used in Thailand for eating Chinese-style noodle soups, or at Chinese, Japanese or Korean restaurants. Thai cuisine is one of the most popular cuisine in the world. A Thai family meal would normally consist of rice with several dishes which should form a harmonious contrast of flavors and textures as well as preparation methods. When time is limited or when eating alone, single dishes, such as fried rice or noodle soups, are quick and filling.

Only the husks of the red rice grains are removed which allows it to retain all its nutrients and vitamins, but unlike brown rice, its red color comes from antioxidants in the bran. An important concept with dining etiquette in the Thai manner is khluk: mixing the flavors and textures from the different dishes with the rice from ones plate. With certain dishes, such as khao kha mu (pork trotter stewed in soy sauce and served with rice), whole Thai peppers and raw garlic are served in addition to the sour chili sauce. It is now one of the most important ingredients in Thai cuisine, together with rice.[18] During the Columbian Exchange, Portuguese and Spanish ships brought new crops from the Americas including tomatoes, corn, papaya, pea eggplants, pineapple, pumpkins, culantro, cashews, and peanuts. We think of all parts of the meal as a whole - sum rap Thai (the way Thais eat), is the term we use for the unique components that make up a characteristically Thai meal. Simplicity isn't the dictum here, at all. The fork and spoon were introduced by King Chulalongkorn after his return from a tour of Europe in 1897 CE.

The dishes are all served at the same time, including the soups, and it is also customary to provide more dishes than there are guests at a table. Traditionally, a meal would have at least five elements: a dip or relish for raw or cooked vegetables (khrueang chim) is the most crucial component of any Thai meal.[23][24] Khrueang chim, considered a building block of Thai food by Chef McDang, may come in the form of a spicy chili sauce or relish called nam phrik (made of raw or cooked chilies and other ingredients, which are then mashed together), or a type of dip enriched with coconut milk called lon. Eateries and shops that are specialized in pre-made food, are the usual place to go to for having a meal this way. Chopsticks are mainly used in Thailand for eating Chinese-style noodle soups, or at Chinese, Japanese or Korean restaurants. "beautiful rice"). Sticky rice, not jasmine rice, is the staple food in the local cuisines of Northern Thailand and of Isan (Northeastern Thailand), both regions of Thailand directly adjacent to Laos with which they share many cultural traits. A Thai family meal would normally consist of rice with several dishes which should form a harmonious contrast of flavors and textures as well as preparation methods. Furthermore, because national dishes are so interwoven in a nation's sense of identity, strong emotions and conflicts can arise when trying to choose a country's national dish.