It is in the Central region of Thailand that so many influences and flavours seem to come together into a melting pot of delights to be enjoyed and experienced by those exploring the culinary aspects of this incredible country. The rich, fertile plain that is home to the Chao Phraya River produces a broad variety of produce and ingredients. This is the region that is known as Thailand’s traditional heartland and it has, throughout its history, welcomed visitors from across the globe – influencing the cooking in the area and introducing dishes with foreign flavours.
“Fragrant steamed rice is a signature dish for this area”
There are tastes of Portugal, Japan, the Middle East and Europe, to name but a few that have made their way into the distinctive dishes of Central Thailand. Fragrant steamed rice is a signature dish for this area, unlike the neighbours in the North and North-east regions whose tastes are for glutinous rice. Noodle dishes are very popular in this region, particularly when they are prepared in the ‘Sino Thai’ style. ‘Sino-Thai’ has grown to become the most popular style of cookery in major cities like Bangkok.
Thai dishes that are both popular and particular to the culinary region of Central Thailand include:
– Phat Phak Bung Fai Daeng: stir-fried water spinach, more flavourful than the ingredients indicate!
– Kaeng Khiao Wan: traditional, beautifully seasoned and easily enjoyed green curry
– Phat Thai; the famous ‘Pad Thai’ noodle dish is so very popular, simple and versatile