Food and drinks in Thailand

28. December 2016

Thai Fruits, Vegetables, Drinks and Desserts

Fruits

The hot, sunny and tropical climate makes Thailand the perfect place to grow many delicious fruits.  Thailand grows many delicious fruits.  Some fruits are not found outside of Asia.

It is typical for fruit to be enjoyed as a snack or after a meal.

Bananas and pineapples are found across the country.  Banana flowers are sometimes used in meals, and the leaves may be used to wrap other snacks.

Despite the strong, and often unpleasant, smell, many Thai like durian.  An uncut durian is quite fierce in appearance, with spikes covering the outer parts.  Jackfruit is also spiky, although much bigger than durian.  The fleshy segments are juicy and tasty.

Papaya is very cheap to buy in Thailand and is eaten as a snack when ripe, or used to make papaya salad when unripe.  Pomelos are difficult to peel, but the delicious taste is worth the effort.  Custard apples look quite odd; to eat a custard apple you should break it open and scoop out the insides with a spoon.  The rose apple is crisp and slightly sweet.

The sour tamarind is, in my opinion, an acquired taste.  Lychees and longans are similar in appearance, looking like a large berry type fruit, and rambutans are bright red outside with green strands, giving them an alien look!  Sapodila look like brown eggs when not peeled.

The green guava, tangerine and mango are grown in parts of Thailand.  Coconut is common, and Thais eat the pulp and either drink the milk or use it in cooking.

Some fruits may be served with a bag of mixed chili and sugar powder; this sounds odd, but it is actually a really nice dip.

Vegetables

Many vegetables are used in Thai cuisine.  These include onions, carrots, cabbage, cucumber, aubergine, bean sprouts, long beans, corn, mushrooms, sweet potato, and spinach.  Fried morning glory with chili is a really popular dish.  Basil is a key part of some meals.

In general Thai food usually uses fewer vegetables than meat, unless you specifically order a vegetable dish.

Drinks

Due to the hot temperatures, Thais drink a lot of water.  Iced tea and iced coffee are also popular, and are usually served sweet and milky.

The wide range of fruits means that fruit shakes and smoothies are widely available.

There are different varieties of energy drink, with the famous Red Bull being sold in small glass bottles and not fizzy, as opposed to the cans of carbonated drink in many European countries.

As for alcoholic drinks, beer is very popular.  Thai beers include Chang, Leo and Singha.  Thai whisky is also widely drunk as it is very cheap.  Brands include Hong Thong, Sang Som, Mekong and Blend 285.  Rice wine is also drunk on occasions.

Desserts

Desserts are not so widely eaten, although there are many sweet treats to try.  Perhaps the best place to buy these is at a market, as many restaurants do not even serve desserts.

Mango with sticky rice is a popular sweet, as is jelly with shaved ice and sugar sprinkles.  Coconut is a common ingredient in sweet foods and desserts.

You can find different flavours of ice cream, and you should try and taste the strange but nice deep fried ice cream.

Roti and crepes are often sold at the roadside, and are really, really good.