What is the Difference Between Thai and Royal Thai Cuisine?

Discover what sets traditional & royal Thai cuisine apart from each other! Learn about their unique ingredients & flavors & how they differ from other cuisines.

What is the Difference Between Thai and Royal Thai Cuisine?

For the most part, authentic Thai cuisine is a type of food from central Thailand that is governed by strict rules and a higher standard. All ingredients used must be the freshest and of the highest quality, and all dishes must have bones, shells and stones removed. This type of cuisine is renowned for its mild flavor, luxurious presentation, and a combination of different rare and expensive ingredients. Only the best and freshest ingredients will do. While some of them may be commonplace today, we have to remember that in the past these items were so rare that only the wealthy could afford them.

For example, khao chae, or cold rice, was something that would never be found eaten by ordinary people a few hundred years ago. One dish in particular that was created specifically for the royal household is Khao Chae. This dish was first created during the reign of King Rama II. Thai food encompasses a wide range of styles, from barbecues to stir-fries, from curries to spicy salads, from soups to steamed dishes and porridge to crunchy insects. Thai food usually has a mix of sour, sweet, salty and savory flavors, in addition to the heat of chili peppers.

Thai curries are the favorite dishes in all of Thailand. While northern curries use broth or stock, southern curries are much thicker due to the addition of coconut milk to the recipe. Bangkok has a good number of Korean and Japanese restaurants because a lot of Koreans and Japanese people have settled in Thailand. Chopsticks are mainly used in Thailand to eat Chinese-style noodle soups or in Chinese, Japanese or Korean restaurants. This naturally fragrant long-grain rice grows in abundance in the mosaic of rice fields that cover the central plains of Thailand. With certain dishes, such as khao kha mu (pork hands stewed in soy sauce and served with rice), whole Thai peppers and raw garlic are served in addition to the sour chili sauce.

Unlike these regions, coconut palm trees don't grow as well in the north and northeast of Thailand, where temperatures are lower in winter and where there is a dry season that can last five to six months. Those in the northern part of northern Thailand are mainly influenced by Laos, those in the western part are mainly influenced by Cambodia, and those in the west more by the Burmans. Edible insects, whole or in chili paste and as ingredients in fortified products, are common in Thailand. Real Thai food or Chao-Wang food has existed since the Ayutthaya era, which began in 1351 and ended in 1767. In most Thai restaurants, diners have access to a selection of Thai sauces (nam chim) and condiments, which waiters bring to the table or presented in small containers. Apples, pears, peaches, grapes and strawberries, which do not traditionally grow in Thailand and which in the past had to be imported, have become increasingly popular in recent decades since the Royal Projects of Thailand introduced them to Thai farmers starting in 1969 and the Doi Tung Project since 1988. Perhaps one of the oldest types of noodles in Thailand is khanom chin, which is a fresh type of rice noodles made with fermented rice and is eaten with toppings such as green curry (kaeng khiao wan) with chicken or green papaya salad (som tam).

There are hundreds of ingredients used in Thai cuisine but some are less common than those found in other cuisines. From a culinary point of view there are different variations in local dishes in different areas of northern Thailand. Many Thais live in very basic accommodations that consist of little more than one room and even middle class Thais can live in fairly cramped conditions due to high property prices in the capital. An ingredient found in many Thai dishes and used all over the country is nam pla - a very aromatic transparent fish sauce.