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Le Cordon Bleu News, 09/09/2014
A discovery of Thai flavors
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World Culinary Traditions

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A discovery of Thai flavors
Thai cuisine takes you away to another land, to discover new horizons. Renowned throughout the world ever since tourism developed in the 1960s, Thai cuisine has managed to retain all of its authenticity. Let’s set off on a voyage of discovery of Thai delicacies …

Thai cuisine is the fruit of a fusion of indigenous and foreign cuisine such as those coming from India and China.

Thai cuisine is full of color and flavor and has retained its identity.  Considered as being spicy by the French palate, it is made up of a multitude of singular ingredients such as bamboo shoots, coconut milk, Thai basil galangal and cilantro.  Other more familiar flavors are also often found in Thai specialties such as garlic, lemon, chives, mint, curry and onion.

Rice is a major part of any Thai meal to which meat, fish and seafood are added.  It is an integral part of the country’s culinary traditions.  Numerous varieties of fruits and vegetables also accompany the dishes. Broccoli, zucchini, papaya, cabbage, banana leaves and eggplant often feature.  To add variety, noodles are often used in Thai cuisine and play an important role in many specialties.  Thai dishes are often seasoned with chili, soy, fish or oyster sauce.

There are a number of traditional Thai dishes such as sautéed rice and chicken, shrimp fritters, spring rolls, sweet and sour salads, dishes with curry and soups made from meat jus or fish stock.

It is important to note that there are regional differences in Thai cuisine between the North and the South of the country:

  • In the North, gastronomy is strongly influenced by Burmese cuisine.  Naem, a pork sausage with green chili and khao soi, a dish made from egg noodles with curry sauce, are good examples of the traditional dishes of this region.
  • In the North-East, in the Isaan region, cuisine has strong Laotian influences.  One of the traditional dishes of the region is som tam, a spicy papaya salad.
  • In the Center, cuisine is much milder and this is perfectly demonstrated by tom kha, spiced coconut milk soup.
  • In the South, cuisine is very spicy and often includes ingredients from the sea.  Typical dishes include prawns with curry and khao yam, a dish made of boiled rice mixed with fish sauce.

Regardless of the region, upmost importance is given to balancing flavor.  It is not just a question of differentiating between spicy and mild dishes; there is a real desire to create a harmonious mixture of savory/sweet/spicy/mild/sour/acidic…

As far as desserts are concerned, they are mainly composed of fruit which is presented in a very meticulous and elegant way.  Depending on the season, there could be oranges, mango, coconut, guava, grapefruit or even banana.

It is possible to have just one dish during a Thai meal but more often than not a number of dishes, to be shared by all those at the table, are served all at once (excluding desserts).  There will usually be soup, salad, a sautéed dish, a deep-fried dish, rice and a steamed dish.  This is a moment for sharing and conviviality which strengthens the ties between those eating together and is an integral part of Thai culture.

Take a journey of discovery to Thailand:

  • Would you like to discover Thai ingredients, flavors and culinary techniques?  Take part in our Thai cuisine workshop.  Book your place here!
  • Le Cordon Bleu also has a school in Thailand.  Opened in 2007, Le Cordon Bleu Dusit is located in Bangkok. Find out more about Le Cordon Bleu Dusit programs.
 
 

For more information

Le Cordon Bleu Paris
  Email paris@cordonbleu.edu or use the online form
  Website hwww.cordonbleu.edu/paris/home/en
  Call +33 (0) 1 53 68 22 50
  Address 8, rue Léon Delhomme
75015 Paris

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