What exactly is Thai food? You may ask.
Is Thai food is more or less like Chinese food? Thai food has noodles, rice, pork, fish, vegetables, and stir-fried; does Chinese have all of these ingredients as well?
Yes, Thai food cuisine was influenced by China in many ways, noodles, rice, and stir-fried that we mentioned above. Thai food was also influenced by neighboring countries like Lao, Burma (Myanmar), Malaysia, Cambodia, India, and Western countries like Portugal and France.
If you look at Thailand's location on the map, Thailand is in the middle of the peninsula of Southeast Asia. China is in the north of Thailand. India is in the far west, and Burma is at the border of Thailand in the west. On the east are Laos and Cambodia. Malaysia is in the south.
Cooking is the way of life and the culture of people for generations. It's a combination of the cuisines from different countries in the region.
For example, curry dishes are influenced by Indian cuisine. But instead of using cow milk in the recipe, Thai people had adapted and used Coconut milk instead because you can find coconut trees anywhere in Thailand! Thai people in the old days did not raise cows and did not drink cow milk at all. They had only water buffalos to plow the rice fields.
So now you know when you order Masaman curry or Yellow curry, you order a Thai dish that has an Indian root.
You may wonder why the Portuguese food has an impact on Thai food?
Around 350 years ago, when the catholic missionaries from Portugal and France traveled to Asia and attempted to convert people to Christians. They had brought the cooking technique and recipes to Thai cuisine. For example, the Portuguese dessert called Fio de Ovos is also a Thai dessert. We call it "Foi Thong" (Golden Thread), as seen in the picture here.
The western cooking technique left a mark in Thai cuisine, especially in desserts and baking. While influenced by many countries through trade and exploration, Thailand is one of the only few countries in the world that has never been colonized by any western country. Throughout the years, Thailand has maintained its sovereignty and has helped Thais remain independent in language, in culture, and in preserving traditional Thai cooking.
As a Thai restaurant, Phuket is the result of Thailand's unique history that we try to bring to Huntsville, Alabama!