It is fair to say that Thai food has evolved over the centuries, adapting to the influences of traders such as the Portuguese and Chinese, as well as immigrants from the surrounding countries, many of which have a prominent feature of spicy food, especially Indian and Malay influences. It is interesting to note that it was the Portuguese traders from South America who introduced chilies to Thailand, bringing them from South America.
As a result, Thai cuisine encompasses many different food styles from the quick, single plate meals of Thai street food to the more elaborate large spreads for social groups dining at Thai restaurants, which offer a wide range of highly spiced cuisines originating in Thailand and the region as a whole, along with many dishes that represent a wide range of food cultures.
Why Thai Food Is Often Spicy
Thai food has been known for its spiciness for a very long time, though it is not always hot to taste when it comes to its spiciness. As mentioned above, there are many dishes that aren’t spicy, and over the years, many traditional and classic Thai dishes have actually been toned down a bit in terms of their spice levels! Despite this, authentic Thai food is still considered to be spicy by many, and that’s because of a number of reasons.
Chili is not only a fantastic addition to dishes that add tons of flavor, but it is also beneficial for gut health, as it reduces intestinal parasites and bacteria if consumed in large quantities. Since Thailand is considered to be a tropical area, many of its people learned to adapt to spicier foods to help them feel better (which is why you will find spicier cuisine in regions near the equator). The use of spices such as chilies can also help your food stay fresh for a longer period of time. Adding chili to foods in tropical regions is a great way to extend their shelf life since it’s so hot and humid there that they tend to go bad faster.
As well as providing health benefits, spicy foods also have a variety of other benefits for the body, such as increasing blood circulation and helping to regulate the body’s core temperature. In the case of spicy food, the blood from the center of your body circulates to the surface of your skin and dilates the capillaries to help expel the heat, so you sweat as a result. As a result, it is very important to keep cool in tropical regions.
Is All Thai Food Spicy?
There is no doubt that Thai food is renowned for its spicy to very spicy taste, but it is a fallacy to think that all Thai food is spicy. It is possible to find a variety of dishes, from snacks to starters and main courses to desserts that are not (or do not need to be) spicy at all, such as roasted cashews, spring rolls, tod man koong (fried shrimp patties), khao man gai (tasty boiled chicken with rice) and mango & sticky rice.
It is true that there is an extensive variety of dishes that are either not spicy or that can be spiced up or down to suit your taste.
Specifically, we should clarify that we are talking about spices that have heat, which in Thai food is predominantly chili, and not other spices that are mainly used to influence the taste but have little or no heat, such as cumin, ginger, or seasoning sauces, which can be quite hot in places.
For example, there is a dish that is incredibly popular in Thailand called Pad Thai, which involves stir-frying noodles with vegetables and tofu, and is available everywhere. The spice is usually added at the table to suit individual taste, so the basic dish as served is usually not too spicy, as the spice is mostly added at the table.
In spite of the fact that Thai people are used to spice, there is a wide range of how much spice they prefer. The Thai people are very used to specifying how spicy they want their food to be when ordering food. In order to make the most of your visit to Thailand, it is very important to know these basic instructions before you arrive.