Are You Eating Thai Food Correctly?

M. K. Albus By M. K. Albus, 30th Jun 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>Diet & Nutrition

People all over the world love Thai cuisine but not everyone knows the customs associated with Thai food. There is a proper way to eat it....

Thai Dining Customs

I have to snicker whenever I see a television show or movie in which the actors are eating Thai food. Invariably they are eating it with chopsticks. This shows a lack of research and authenticity on the part of those who put the show or movie together. The people of Thailand do not use chopsticks! (Unless they are eating Chinese food.) And if anyone else in the world thinks they are being authentic by using chopsticks when they eat Thai food they are dead wrong!

Of course, Thai cuisine will still taste delicious no matter how one eats it, but it can be beneficial to know the official eating customs of Thailand. Just because the country is located in Southeast Asia does not automatically mean chopsticks are the appropriate way to eat Thai food.

Instead of chopsticks, the people of Thailand us forks and spoons. Knives, however, are never used. Knives belong in the kitchen, not on the dinner table. Whenever cooking and serving Thai food that contains meat, the meat is always either shredded or cut into bite-sized pieces in the cooking process so knives are unnecessary at the table.

Forks and spoons are used differently in Thai eating, though, than the rest of the world. In Thailand one never puts a fork into their mouth. Forks are only used to push food onto a spoon and it is with the spoon that the food is put in one's mouth. Using a fork to put food in one's mouth is considered rude. The fork is always held in the left hand and the spoon in the right.

Like practically every other culture across the globe, some Thai foods are designed to be eaten by hand. It is the Thai custom to only put food in one's mouth with the right hand. What may be even more important to remember is that in Thailand it is considered EXTREMELY RUDE to lick one's fingers! (Kentucky Fried Chicken never uses its slogan, 'finger-lickin' good' in Thailand.)

Something else that is fun to know about eating Thai cuisine is that in Thailand it is customary to leave at least a few pieces of uneaten food on your plate when you are done eating. This is considered a sign of gratitude to the cook for the abundance offered. Eating your plate clean is considered a sign of gluttony.

And there is one last thing that I must mention. If you are eating out at a restaurant in Thailand or even eating in a Thai restaurant elsewhere or even eating Thai food at home, it is imperative that you know this. In Thailand it is considered BEYOND RUDE to blow your nose at the dinner table!

So there, I have given everyone something to think about or talk about the next time you eat Thai food.

Bon appetite!


Cooking, Culture, Customs Eating, Food, Food Facts, Food History, Thai, Thailand

Meet the author

author avatar M. K. Albus
M. K. Albus is a freelance writer, editor and publisher who writes both opinion columns and informative non-fiction articles on food, environment and sustainability.

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author avatar peachpurple
15th Jul 2015 (#)

Thanks for the tips, thailand do practice good manners compare to the chinese

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