The first week of Thailand has been wonderful. I am continually amazed at how intentional Thai cuisine can be. On our first day in Chiang Mai, we learned how to cook Thai food. Each step and each ingredient had a specific purpose; the combination of sour, salty and sweet was a recipe for harmony for your taste buds! As we moved through the week, I start to see how Thailand’s economy is guided by food. Not only in the food we eat, but the growing process.
In Chiang Dao, the school was self-sustaining because they grew their own food. In the Hmong village, they developed the land to grow many types of fruits and vegetables and transition into organic growing. This change has helped to sustain the livelihood of the Hmong Tribe along with provide jobs and training for students and villagers. At the restaurants where we stopped to eat, many grew their own ingredients. The structure of the restaurants allowed for it to be a part of the natural environment. As we stroll through the city, a large percent of shops were restaurants, neighborhood were not taken up by big department stores.
A culture is very much reflective in their food. Thais cooks their food with meaning and purpose. Each ingredient is a note in the melody of the dish. It’ll be interesting to see what’s coming next in Chiang Rai.