Central Thailand is the most abundant region of the country. Central provinces are dotted with rice fields, farms, and waterways. The Chao Phraya River runs through the region, with many communities developing out of river trade and transportation. The ancient and present capital city of Thai, Ayutthaya and Bangkok respectively, are also located within this region.
Central dishes blend together all shades of the taste spectrum and are characterized by heavy use of coconut milk. A typical Central meal consists of different dishes that counterbalances each other’s’ properties. The presence of the royal courts within the region also had a great affect culinary scene of the region, namely influences from Western, Indian, and Chinese cuisine brought on by trade. The staple of the region is non-sticky rice, with sticky rice traditionally used only in dessert menus.
Famous dishes from the Central include: gaeng keow wan (แกงเขียวหวาน) – green curry, gaeng massaman (แกงมัสมั่น) – massaman curry, and khao niew mamuang (ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง) mango sticky rice.
From top right: 1. Green curry 2. Pad thai 3. Massaman curry 4. Mango and sticky rice
- “Thai Food: Thai Culture Heritage”, Department of Cultural Promotion, Ministry of Culture: http://book.culture.go.th/thaifood/mobile/index.html#p=1
Written By: Tayud Mongkolrat