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Old August 9th, 2011, 12:11 AM   #1
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Thai Foods to the World


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Old August 9th, 2011, 12:13 AM   #2
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The Halal Standard Institute of Thailand


Halal Food Market is regarded as the key target since it serves more than 1,800 million of Muslims consumers worldwide. With an aim to promote Halal food industry as the whole chain, the Thai government led by Dr. Thaksin Shinawatra, the Prime minister of Thailand has established various organizations such as the Islamic Bank of Thailand, the Institute for Halal Food Standard of Thailand, the Halal Science Center as well as the Halal Food Industrial Estate in Pattani province in order to empower Thailand’s competitiveness as one of the Halal Food Hub of the region

Historically, Halal food affairs in Thailand have been undertaken for more than 50 years. The Central Islamic Committee of Thailand and The Provincial Islamic Committee are authorized to act as the principle bodies of Halal food certification

In 2003, the organization was restructured towards establishing a special body as so called “ The Institute for Halal Food Standard of Thailand (Halal-Thai)” under supervision of the Central Islamic Committee of Thailand, this Institute works through the Executive Committee composed of Islamic scholars, high experienced professionals and experts in various fields with potential teamwork with doctorate, master and bachelor degree to create the best performance as to attain the Institute ‘s vision.

The Halal-Thai is a national agency engaged in standard development, screening, monitoring, verification and tracing of all Halal food to be in accordance with Islamic law (Shariah) as well as internationally accepted and reliable food standards (Codex, HACCP and GMP)

Regarding the promotion of Thailand as one of the leader in Halal food market, the Halal-Thai acts as a key player in developing the Thai Halal certification system to comply to Islamic law as well as to those internationally standards leading to the credibility and acceptance of both domestic and foreign consumers

With regard to personnel management, The Halal-Thai has performed human resource planning and developing schemes to adequately support the demand for certification grant throughout the country

Apart from the above-mentioned, the main duties of the Halal-Thai include tracing, investigating, verification, and monitoring of all food products and training throughout the country in order to harmonize the system based on compatible standard and meet the Halal food requirement and quality.

With commitment of all sectors to strengthen Thailand’s competitiveness, the Halal-Thai commits to the reliability and credibility in Halal food certification along with close collaboration with both diverse concerned private and public agencies particularly the Halal Science Center regarding as the first one of the world, founded at Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, to work in the application of science and technology in food analysis and with full support from the government, it is ensured that Halal food system in Thailand will be gracefully stand on the world stage graining the trust and confidence in physical and spiritual safety for all Muslim and non-Muslim consumers all over the world

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Old August 9th, 2011, 12:14 AM   #3
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The Halal Science Center, Chulalongkorn University


Thailand's Halal Foods:

Muslims, recognized in their faith and fidelity in Islam religion, share a majority proportion in more than 1.8 billions of the world populations. The combination of diverse races and ethnic founded the Muslim Communities residing in different 50 countries or more worldwide. In response to the Policy that Thailand aims to be "the Kitchen of the World", Halal foods or permitted foods for Muslims then become the key success means towards such goal. The foremost priority role is to focus on standardization and upliftment of the high standard quality of Thai Halal Foods to be in accordance with Islamic law and Codex Standard, as all Thai Halal products must acquire the certification of nutrition, hygiene, as well as qualified export quality standard.

The first Halal Science Center:

On August 13th, 2003 The Royal Thai Cabinet granted the budget allocated for the establishment of the Central Laboratory and Scientific Information Center for Halal Food Development (Halal-CELSIC) at the Faculty of the Allied Health Science, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, as the core Halal science network of the country. This Halal-CELSIC, to date, has expanded its linkages in more than 10 laboratories based in several universities and institutions throughout the country. Halal-CELSIC, later, in collaboration with scientists from several faculties of Chulalongkorn University succeedingly concurred to establish the newly formed "Halal Science Center" (HSC) of Chulalongkorn University resuming all tasks and responsibilities from Halal-CELSIC.

Mission of "Halal Science Center" (HSC):

Establishing of Halal laboratories fully equipped with modern and high standard analytical and preparative scientific devices.
Providing analytical services for detection of any contamination's against Islamic law (Haram and Najis) in raw materials, and finished products supplied for Halal Food market
Conducting Research and development on new methodologies, product innovation as well as reagent kits exploitable for Halal food verification.
Preparing lists of chemicals, raw materials and products as to accommodate Halal food manufacturers and consumers.
Servicing Web Site providing essential scientific information and networks to Halal food manufacturers and consumers.
Providing supports related to scientific matters for the Institute for Halal Food Standard and lslamic organizations involving the certification of Halal foods, as may required.
Providing counsels for Halal food manufacturers and restaurants in utilizing Halal-GMP/HACCP/ISO 22000/QHS.
Providing training program in Halal science for manufacturers, consumers and the publics.

Scientific Service:

HSC, well-equipped with modern and advanced scientific devices including LC/MS/MS, GS/MS, HPLC, GC, ICP, AA, FTIR, UC, Realtime-PCR etc specifically provides all analytical services and research for detection of contamination detrimental to Halal food manufacturing, e.g. animal fatty acids, animal proteins/DNA, gelatin, alcohol, microbial contamination, etc.

The staffs of HSC consist of scientists with Ph.D. and Master degrees in biochemistry, food and nutrition, pharmaceutical science and medical technology, professionally handling laboratory analysis, researches and consultative provisions in Halal food standards so as in establishment of Halal GMP/HACCP as well as Halal-QHS/ISO 22000 to the food manufacturers, restaurants, and other food service industries.

HSC is responsible in sales and distribution of all books on Halal GMP/HACCP written or published by its notable scientist staffs in conjunction with the National Food Institute, Ministry of Industry.

HSC, in cooperation with The Faculty of the Allied Health Science, offers the Bachelor program in Nutrition and Dietetics as to produce the best qualified and well trained Graduates specialized in Halal food standard, food manufacturing and food certification.

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Old August 9th, 2011, 12:16 AM   #4
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Thailand Top 1- World's 50 most delicious foods

Read more: World's 50 most delicious foods | CNNGo.com


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Old August 9th, 2011, 12:17 AM   #5
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The best countries for food

Food and travel go together like planes and airports. No matter where you go you’ll have little trouble finding at least one culinary experience that will help you understand the local culture. In some countries the food is the highlight, drawing many a foodie to its borders, like a moth to a flame. Here are 11 countries (in no particular order) that your taste buds will thank you for visiting.

1. Thailand

Image by jaaron

Standing at the crossroads of India, China and Oceania, Thai cuisine is like a best-of of all three’s techniques and ingredients. Dishes generally go in hard with garlic and chillies (especially the phrik khii nuu variety, which literally translates as ‘mouseshit peppers’). Other signature ingredients include lime juice, coriander and lemon grass, which give the cuisine its characteristic tang. Legendary fish sauce or shrimp paste looks after the salt.

2. Greece

Image by Klearchos Kapoutsis

From olives to octopus, the true taste of Greece depends on fresh, unadulterated staples. Masking or complicating original flavours is not the done thing, especially when you’re dealing with oven-fresh bread, rosy tomatoes and fish fresh from the Mediterranean. The midday meal is the main event with a procession of goodies brought to the table as they’re ready. With Wednesday and Friday traditionally reserved as fast days (ie no-meat days), vegetarians are also looked after.

3. China

From back-alley dumpling shops to four-star banquet halls, China has one of the world’s finest palates. Cultural precepts of Yin and Yang (balance and harmony) are evident in the bowl: with food for the day including cooling foods such as vegetables and fruit to counter warming spices and meat. The Chinese revere rice but also choose noodles, with either almost always accompanying a meal. A range of regional specialities exist, variously influenced by geography and history.

4. France

Image by Sunfox

From cheese and champagne to snails and baguettes, the French are famous for their foodstuffs. French cuisine has long distinguished itself for dallying with a great variety of foods. Each region’s distinct climate and geography have influenced the array of regional specialities. Many in France consider lunch as the day’s main meal, though the two hour marathon meal is increasingly rare. The crowning meal is a fully fledged home-cooked dinner comprising six distinct plats (courses).

5. Spain

Image by scaredy_kat

Best in Barcelona, Catalan cooking is racking up the accolades from gourmands around the globe. Like other regional Spanish cuisines, Catalan cooking favours spices such as saffron and cumin, as well as honeyed sweets. A mixture of ingredients and traditions adds flair to Barcelona’s fare: using seafood and meats in a rich array of sauces. Dinner is the main event, but never before 9pm.

6. Mexico

Image by chargrillkiller

Would you like some magic-realism with that enchilada? The Mexican sensibility for enchanting influences is also brought to the table in its food, particularly during celebrations. Mexican cuisine has an overriding Spanish influence, with a twist of French and African thanks to its history. Corn and bean-based dishes are prominent – prepared in a multitude of world renowned ways including tacos, enchiladas and quesadillas. And who could forget the worm that waits at the bottom of a bottle of Mezcal?

7. Italy

Image by Allerina and Glen MacLarty

Its food is arguably Italy‘s most famous export, and it’s with good reason that the world wants it. Despite all the variations that exist between regions, some common staples bind the country’s culinary creations. Think thin-crust pizza and al dente pastas and risottos. And to drink? One word: coffee. The Italians do it best – from perfecting a distinguished roast to the gentle extraction of its essence into the cup. Perfecto!

8. India

Image by maintenancepic

India’s protean gastronomy changes shape as you move between neighbourhoods, towns and states. The basis of all meals is rice in the south, and roti in the north. These are generally partnered with dhal, vegetables and chutney. Fish or meat may also be added. Whatever the ingredients: the dish usually contains a heady cast of exotic spices that make the taste buds stand up and take notice.

9. Japan

Image by jetalone

If you can wrap your tongue around pronouncing the menu, Japan’s cuisine is a most rewarding mouthful. Most Japanese restaurants concentrate on a specialty cuisine, such as yakitori (skewers of grilled chicken or veg), sushi and sashimi (raw fish), tempura (lightly battered and fried ingredients) and ramen noodle bars. The pinnacle of Japanese cooking, kaiseki (derived as an adjunct to the tea ceremony), combines ingredients, preparation, setting and ceremony over several small courses to distinguish the gentle art of eating.

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Old August 9th, 2011, 12:21 AM   #6
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Thailand urged to cash in on halal products

THE NATION Published on January 28, 2011

Thailand is well placed to become a springboard for exports of Asean halal products to South Asia, the Middle East and the European Union, a Malaysian trade representative said yesterday.

Seamless trade under the Asean Economic Community will allow Thai companies to form a trading network with Malaysia to enter other Muslim countries, said Jai Shankar, Malaysia's trade commissioner to Thailand and head of the Bangkok office of the Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation.
"Malaysia will host the world's largest halal trade fair, and that will offer a good chance for Thai and foreign traders to engage more with Muslim markets," he said.

With the emerging economies of Muslim countries as well as their growing populations, demand for halal foods and other Islamic-oriented products and services will continue to rise.

Thailand, which is one of the world's major food suppliers and a strong manufacturing base, should tie up with Malaysia to boost its trading opportunities in the Muslim market, he said.

In 2009, the global market for halal products including foods and non-food products was worth US$2.8 trillion (Bt86.5 billion), of which $570 billion was for halal foods. More than 1.8 billion people in the world are Muslim.

The Muslim market consumes not only halal foods, but also products and services used in daily life, such as cosmetics, medicine, healthcare and medical services, Islamic banking and halal logistics - the shipment of only halal goods in one container.

Halal means "the way". It is a term designating any object or action that is permissible to use or engage in according to Islamic law.

Thai traders can find partners and learn more about the halal business from Malaysia and the eighth Malaysian International Halal Showcase from April 6-9.

MIHAS will gather trade exhibitors and buyers from across the world.

Malaysia expects that immediate from this year's event will increase by 10 per cent to Bt700 million from last year's staging, and potential sales to Bt11 billion.

Also, more Thai traders are expected to join from only two exhibitors and six buyers last year.

The 2010 fair attracted more than 527 exhibitors from 32 countries and 35,386 visitors from 59 countries, Shankar said.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 12:25 AM   #7
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Singha cashes in on the English Premier League

The Nation Published on March 5, 2011

Singha Corporation announced yesterday that it was investing Bt200 million on its sponsorship deals with Manchester United and Chelsea, two of the bestknown English Premier League football clubs.

This[ investment is in line with the company's ambition to double the sales of Singha beer overseas from the current 2 per cent to about 5 per cent by the end of this year.

Marketing director Chatchai Wiratyosin said half of the budget would be spent on footballrelated activities, including the "Singha Chelsea Trophy Tour". The "Barclays Premier League Trophy" kicked off its tour last week in CentralWorld, where it will return again next Friday and Saturday after being displayed in Khon Kaen on Monday and Tuesday and in Chiang Mai on Wednesday and Thursday. It will then be put shown in Future Park Rangsit on March 15 and 16.

Chatchai added that some of the money would be spent on an inviฌtation match on July 24 between Chelsea FC and Thai Premier League. He explained that Singha Corp would be spending about $3 million (Bt148.78 million) this year on sponsoring Manchester United and Chelsea FC, adding that this deal has already helped brandawareness of Singha grow faster than expected.

"At present, up to 40,000 bottles of Singha beer are sold per match at Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium, which seats up to 70,000 people. At 20,000seater Stamford Bridge stadium, which is home to Chelsea FC, up to 20,000 bottles of Singha are sold per match," Chatchai said, adding that the sale of Singha beer at both staฌdiums had risen significantly by between 10 and 20 per cent over last year.

Chatchai said half of the investฌment budget would be allocated for promotional events, which will kick off at Stamford Bridge before headฌing for the Old Trafford. Singha curฌrently has 70 booths selling beer throughout the Stamford Bridge stadium

Under the "Singha Hearth Awards" campaign, members of the sales team who sell the highest number of bottles would win prizes such as a fiveday trip to Thailand.

Chatchai said promotions such as this would help strengthen the relationship the company has with its staff. He added that Singha will also sponsor the Hollywood film, "Hangover Part II", which would help bring the brand into the globฌal market. Chatchai Wiratyosin, marketing director of Singha Corporation, poses with the Barclays Premier League Trophy during the launch of the 10day 'Singha Chelsea Trophy Tour' campaign yesterday. The trophy will travel around Thailand as part of the campaign.

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Old August 9th, 2011, 12:27 AM   #8
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Old August 9th, 2011, 12:29 AM   #9
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Does Thailand actually have any good brews out there?
Sorry but Singha does not count any more than Bud counts as a good American beer.

On another note, Thai food is extremely popular here in the US. It is also jokingly considered the first step to gentrification as well as a suburban staple.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 08:17 AM   #10
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Thai red curry is okay. It's just that I've savored better in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Like it or not, the dish is, after all, of Muslim origin. Who else could prepare it better?

I find it hard to digest (pun unintended) that there is no mention of Green Curry (Gaeng Kieow) & Galangal Curry (Tom Kha). These unique Thai recipe are your truly national treasure!

Originally Posted by napoleon View Post
Thailand Top 1- World's 50 most delicious foods

Read more: World's 50 most delicious foods | CNNGo.com


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Old August 9th, 2011, 10:07 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by BODYholic View Post
Thai red curry is okay. It's just that I've savored better in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. Like it or not, the dish is, after all, of Muslim origin. Who else could prepare it better?

I find it hard to digest (pun unintended) that there is no mention of Green Curry (Gaeng Kieow) & Galangal Curry (Tom Kha). These unique Thai recipe are your truly national treasure!
The case of Massaman curry requires the real arts of cooking to the point that ANYONE who manages to cook REALLY delicious Massaman curry will be able to cook ANY kinds of curry - especially when this Massaman curry is from those who work in Royal Palace Kitchen.
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Old August 9th, 2011, 10:01 PM   #12
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When dining overseas, look for Thai Select logo

Published: 9/08/2011 at 12:00 AM

The Export Promotion Department has accelerated plans to support the growth of authentic Thai restaurants overseas under the Thai Select brand.

The expansion of dining places bearing the Thai Select logo will not only raise the profile of Thai cuisine but also accelerate Thailand's ambition to be a strong "kitchen of the world", according to director-general Nantawan Sakultanak.

While the increase in popularity of Thai restaurants will drive sales of various raw materials from Thailand such as meat, the more authentic Thai food places will demand greater export of spices and ingredients.

The number of certified Thai Select restaurants remains small at fewer than 20% of the estimated total of more than 14,000 Thai restaurants abroad, but Ms Nantawan said newly designed criteria would help raise the figure.

The department will award the Thai Select logo to any Thai restaurant in a foreign country that meets rules such as using spices and ingredients from Thailand to prepare Thai dishes and decorating the dining room in Thai traditional style.

The certificate will last three years, and the restaurant will receive assistance from the state with promotional plans and the right to join the activities of the department held in foreign countries.

Ms Nantawan says applicants must have operated the business for at least six months and must strictly comply with local regulations.

Two types of certificate - Thai Select and Thai Select Premium - are awarded for operators based on the level of quality as certified by the authority.For operators of traditional and modern Thai restaurants, those who receive 85 points or higher will be certified as Thai Select Premium, while those with 75-84 points will be certified Thai Select. (Fast-food or quick-service places can only receive the Thai Select logo.)

According to Ms Nantawan, in the first half of 2011 the department issued 508 Thai Select and 112 Thai Select Premium certificates.

The department expects the number of authentic Thai restaurants to rise, especially in the countries where most Thai restaurants are now located: the United States, Britain, Australia, Japan and Germany, which together account for 75% of Thai restaurants abroad.

According to Ms Nantawan, the department also encourages operators to promote Massaman curry as a main menu item to cash in on the popularity of the curry, which topped the list of the world's 50 most delicious foods at CNNGo.com last month.

The curry beat Japanese sushi, Peking duck and even other popular Thai dishes such as tom yum koong and som tam, which ranked eighth and 46th in the same survey.

Besides the promotion of authentic Thai food, Ms Nantawan said the department would beef up plans to promote the use of chemical-free raw materials in the food industry.

Export of safe food has also been mapped out by the National Food Institute, with a goal for food exports to surpass one trillion baht over the next few years.

The NFI forecasts shipments of Thai food products hitting a record 900 billion baht this year, a 12% rise from 2010.


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Old September 13th, 2011, 01:37 PM   #13
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30% goal for halal exports

Published: 13/09/2011 at 12:00 AM

Thailand Trade Representative (TTR) Pichet Sathirachawal wants to increase exports of halal products by 30% while raising the value of exported pineapple products to 40 billion baht in the first year of the new government's administration.

Mr Pichet, who was secretary-general of the Central Islamic Committee (CIC) for five years, will promote Thai trade to the 57-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

Thailand's exports of halal products amounted to 10 billion baht last year, up from 8.36 billion baht in 2009, while the global trade was worth US$1 trillion.

Up to 60% of the exports went to Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei.

He said the first task was to establish an Asean standard for halal products to help regional producers access wider halal markets in the world.

Previously, six Asean countries _ Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, the Philippines and Thailand _ agreed to establish a standard, but the plan was shelved when Mr Pichet left the CIC.

He plans to persuade the six nations to open an Asean halal standard office in Thailand, as the country is a major international food supplier.

Earlier, halal food exports were rejected by Indonesia, as the government had no confidence in the Thai standard.

Imports were later allowed after the Indonesian government inspected the standard certification process.

Mr Pichet wants 7,200 Thai food producers to meet the Thai halal standard, up from 1,800 now.

He will visit CIS member Kazakhstan to promote canned pineapple and pineapple drinks.

These Thai products are now re-exported to there from Germany and the Netherlands.

The goal is to raise pineapple product exports to 40 billion baht annually from 26 billion last year.

Farmers and manufacturers asked the TTR Office to help promote trade abroad while the industry prepares its own budget of 3 billion baht to access the wider export market on top of 10 billion to increase productivity.

Thailand's pineapple output is low at 4 tonnes a rai, while the Philippine and Indonesia can produce 10-11 tonnes a rai.

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Old September 15th, 2011, 12:57 AM   #14
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Pineapple is linchpin of export push

Published: 15/09/2011 at 12:00 AM

The government has set an ambitious goal to increase the export value of six Thai tropical fruits to 10 billion baht a year from 3 billion baht last year.

The Agriculture Ministry has asked the Thailand Trade Representative (TTR) office to promote six fruits _ longan, lychee, mangosteen, rambutan, mango and pineapple _ in the US market, where irradiation is required for pest control.

The ministry has implemented the irradiation system for two years, but wider promotion is expected to spur exports of Thai fruits.

The TTR's Pichet Sathirachawal plans a roadshow to the US to negotiate the entry of more Thai fruits into the market.

He said the government should promote private-sector investment in factories offering food irradiation near planting locations. Currently only two such factories exist: a private company and the Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology (TINT).

Mr Pichet said manufacturers of pineapple products were planning to introduce a Thai pineapple brand called 'Mr Pine by Land of Smiles' in the world market.

The TTR will head the first mission to promote Thai pineapple products next month in the Commonwealth of Independent States.

The first stop is Kazakhstan, with its population of 15 million, and later Uzbekistan with 28 million. Pineapple products are popular in heavily Muslim countries because pineapple can help with the digestion of beef.

If Thailand directly exports to these markets, prices will be 30% cheaper than for products imported from the EU because of cheaper transport and no re-export margins. The industry expects to increase its own value by 40%.

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Old September 16th, 2011, 01:36 AM   #15
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Making a 'best countries for food top' can only be subjective, everybody has it's own tastes, for some people Thailand can be 1/3/10 etc but for others it could well be out of the top 10 and worse. When it comes to food there can only be a personal 'top'.
If one does not like spicy food, he probably have no interest in going to thailand for food .

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Old September 16th, 2011, 12:37 PM   #16
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Only some thai dishes are spicy not all of them.


7 biggest misconceptions about Thai food

Peanuts on pizza? Delicious, but not Thai. And don't even think about trying to substitute lemons for lemongrass
By Leela Punyaratabandhu 22 August, 2011

A doctoral thesis could be written on the misconceptions people have about Thai cuisine. These seven are the most common.

1. You can make any food Thai by adding peanuts

A sprinkling of chopped peanuts does not magically make a dish "Thai."

Laugh not at this. Countless recipes claim to be “Thai” based solely on the inclusion of peanuts.
A “Thai” pizza featuring chopped peanuts and fresh bean sprouts, a Thai cream soup containing red pepper flakes and peanuts, a Thai salad with bean sprouts and peanuts -- the list goes on, ad nauseam.

Sure, peanuts are used in Thai cuisine. But Thai cuisine is not defined by peanuts.

2. Thai ingredients can be easily substituted

This bowl of green curry looks as it should. Green. Thai dishes subjected to substitution don't usually fare so well.

It's bad enough that there are people who believe a Thai curry base is made by adding Madras curry powder to coconut milk.
Even more ridiculous are all the recipes that endorse illegitimate substitutes.

Green chilies for red ones in red curry paste? Knock yourself out. Though your red curry will turn strangely green.

Ginger instead of galangal (kha) or fingerroots (kra-chai)? Why not. They’re all rhizomes. They must taste the same.

Lemon for lemongrass? Sure. Substitute any type of nut for coconut while you’re at it and see how tasty that dish ends up.

Good intentions notwithstanding, these misguided recipes show a serious lack of understanding of the role of each herb and spice in Thai recipes. Thai cooking newbies fall prey to them all the time.

3. It’s not 'authentic' unless it’s fiery hot

Just because a dish is loaded with chilies, doesn't mean it's any good.

Some Thai dishes are supposed to be hot. Some are not.
Anyone with the manual dexterity of a primate can throw chilies and hot spices into a pot. Only a good cook can discern when and how to use them properly.

Writer and restaurateur Jarrett Wrisley, owner of acclaimed Soul Food Mahanakorn, has also noticed the belief among foreign foodies that Thai food that isn’t extremely spicy isn’t real Thai food.

“Spice is merely a component of the cuisine, not a signifier of good cooking,” he says. “In fact, it's easy to conceal a lack of complexity with a blast of heat.”

Incidentally, it’s also not uncommon for amateur food critics to attempt to conceal their lack of understanding of Thai cuisine by singling out the bold and lavish use of spice as the basis of their praise for certain chefs’ food.

4. Pad Thai is Thailand’s ‘signature’ dish

Pad Thai is delicious. But it's not the country's national dish.

True, pad Thai, one of the most popular menu items in Thai restaurants around the world, was invented in Thailand and carries a very Thai flavor profile.
Some consider this stir-fried, noodle dish strictly Thai. Some aren’t so comfortable calling a dish with so much Chinese influence "Thai."

Regardless, saying that pad Thai is a representation or epitome of Thai cuisine, deserving of national delicacy status, is a stretch.

Kasma Loha-unchit, award-winning author and Thai cooking instructor, is amused when restaurant reviewers appraise a Thai restaurant based on the quality of its pad Thai.

“Noodles can hardly take claim as lying at the heart of my country's cuisine,” she writes. “Its name literally means ‘Thai-style stir-fried noodles,’ and for a dish to be so named in its own country clearly suggests an origin that isn't Thai.”

5. Thai food is eaten with chopsticks

Chopsticks are fine for noodles. And that's about it.

While many Chinese-influenced noodle dishes that have entered the Thai culinary repertoire are eaten with chopsticks, traditional Thai dishes -– almost always eaten with long-grain rice -– require a spoon and a fork.
The spoon is used to transport the food to the mouth, and the fork is there is help push food into the spoon.

“The fork and spoon are well-suited to Thai food,” says ML. Sirichalerm “Chef McDang” Svasti in his latest book, "The Principles of Thai Cookery."

To partake in a traditional Thai meal properly, the chef explains, one needs to learn how to kluk, i.e. to mix different dishes into the rice.

This was done by hand in the old days; a fork and spoon represent the modern day tools used to achieve the same result.

One can only speculate why chopsticks are made available to diners at some Thai restaurants overseas. This is where the chicken or egg analogy applies.

6. Thai cuisine is vegetarian-friendly

Meat on a stick? No problem for Thailand's Theravada Buddhists.

Those who mistakenly assume Thai cuisine is vegetarian based because Thailand is a Buddhist country, or that ordering a vegetable-only stir-fry off the street guarantees no meat or seafood in the food, are in for a surprise.
While consumption of animal flesh is either prohibited or discouraged in certain schools of Buddhism, it's perfectly OK within the main sect of Buddhism in Thailand -- Theravada.

In fact, the only time when vegetarianism is widely practiced for religious reasons is during the Nine Emperor God Festival (tetsakan kin je).

Even so, such practice is mostly limited to Thais of Chinese descent.

Loha-unchit, who has led groups of Americans to Thailand since 1986, has seen people struggle with the nearly impossible act of avoiding meat in Thai food.

“I once had a woman on my trip who wouldn't eat red meat and chicken and that presented a big problem,” she says.

7. Thai food should be cheap

A serving of tom ka cornettes, one of Sra Bua's inventive takes on Thai cuisine, doesn't cost 30 baht. Nor should it.

The notion of "fine Thai cuisine" being an oxymoron is tragic, not to mention a perpetual thorn in the side of restaurants such as Nahm and Sra Bua by Kiin Kiin, which serve Thai food in an elegant setting.
It’s one thing to opine that the food served at such establishments is subpar and doesn't justify the price. It’s another to say that Thai food should never be pricey.

“The single most frustrating misconception that exists is that all Thai food is inexpensive and should always be so,” says Soul Food's Wrisley, who points out that Thai is a very complicated cuisine that not only requires a head-spinning array of ingredients, but also a lot of labor to produce.

“People eat a bowl of noodles on the street that costs a buck, and they are led to think a buck is a pretty good indicator of what a dish should cost.”

As long as the misconception of Thai food being pedestrian and undeserving of fine-dining treatment exists, we won’t soon see a generation of young, talented Thai chefs who master their own traditional cuisine and valiantly take it to the world stage in the form of fine-dining Thai. And thrive financially doing so.

-Noblesse Oblige-
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Old September 20th, 2011, 09:01 PM   #17
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Food fair to rake in B1bn

Published: 20/09/2011 at 12:00 AM

Thai foods are expected to foster business matchmaking worth one billion baht at Food Ingredient Asia 2011, say event organisers.

The fair, co-hosted by the National Food Institute, the Food Science & Technology Association of Thailand, the Federation of Thai Industries' Food Industry Club, and the Thai Food Processors Association, is expected to attract more than 10,000 people engaging in business-to-business talks.

"We hope to clinch B2B (business-to-business) deals worth 1 billion baht from this fair," said Nucharin Paradeevisut, general manager of UBM Asia (Thailand), the event organiser.

Darunee Edwards, president of FSTA Thailand, said that Thailand is one of the world's most important food and crop producers with growing export values.

The association estimates the value of global food trading will rise at a double-digit rate this year due to rising crop prices and reduced supply due to climate fluctuations.

The fair will enable Thai food scientists to exchange their experiences with experts from all over the world.

Food Ingredient Asia 2011 will be held from Sept 21-23 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. More than 350 food companies from 30 countries will present booths including Haco from Switzerland, Ohly and Vicchi Enterprise from the United States and Berli Jucker from Thailand.

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Old December 7th, 2011, 08:14 PM   #18
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Food exporters keen on cornering organic market

Published: 6/12/2011 at 09:37 AM

Thailand's exports of organic food and ingredients are projected to have rapid growth in coming years in line with soaring health-conscious consumers abroad.

Amorn Ngammongkolrat, a vice-president of the National Food Institute, said although exports of organic products are meagre, they should grow steadily from now on.

Shipments of chemical-free products and ingredients have surged substantially over the past five years, especially to developed markets with high purchasing power. "Health-conscious consumers are surging in Europe, Korea and Japan," he said.

"People everywhere are talking about organic food even though it is pricier. That's why we believe it has good prospects."

Thailand exports organic rice, coconut milk, chicken and shrimp. Leading exporters include Betagro Group. "Betagro has declared its chickens disease-free, so there is no need to use chemicals at its farms," Dr Amorn said.

Although no chemicals are used, organic products are normally priced higher than conventional items due mainly to bio-technology. Organic corps also have lower yields than plants exposed to pesticides, he added.

Thai exports of organic products have grown by 10% annually, exceeding US$5 billion (about 150 billion baht) this year.

Commerce Minister Kittiratt Na-Ranong said recently at the "Organic Symposium 2011" in Bangkok organic exports should grow by 20% a year, the same rate as the global figure.

He added the government pledges to tighten cooperation with neighbouring countries on the export of organic farm products and processed organic products. Cambodia, Laos, Burma and Vietnam have the potential to become major organic suppliers because of their available land.

Organic Monitor, a research and business consulting company specialising in organic products, and The World of Organic Agriculture, a yearbook edited by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture in cooperation with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements, report the global value of organic farm products was $55 billion in 2009. That figure is expected to grow by 20% a year on rising demand.

More than 50% of organic-product trading is in Europe and 45% in North America. Asia has only 2% of the organic market. However, that figure is expected to increase significantly given rising incomes and strong economic growth in Asia.

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Old December 12th, 2011, 07:13 PM   #19
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Old December 15th, 2011, 04:46 PM   #20
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Cool video! Thai, Indian and American are my favorite foods.
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