A beautifully attired lady in traditional Thai silk greets the crowd as the sun radiates down the impressive Vancouver B.C. Place Stadium. Behind the kitchen counter, a row of smiles welcome visitors as the wafting aroma of exotic spices attracts the curiosity of passersby, and intricately sculptured fruits and vegetables inspire appreciation for a culture that parallels great food to great art.
The “Land of Smiles” is globally renowned for its scrumptious cuisine, diverse natural landscapes, rich history, culture and gracious hospitality. A delightful palate pleaser, Thai cuisine also offers a glimpse into the country’s ancient traditions, environment and resourcefulness of its people. Thai food is brilliant in taste combinations; it is nutritious and delivers medical benefits with use of herbal ingredients in the cooking.
CNN Travel, in their May 06, 2010 article, listed top 40 Thai foods “You Cannot Live Without”. Topping the list is tom yum gung, Thailand’s signature soup simmered in a broth of shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes and exotic ingredients like lemon grass, galangal and kaffir lime leaves. A perfect example of a mix of sour, spicy, salty and sweet flavors, all tastefully blended in one dish. Other irresistible delights are the famed pad Thai rice noodles and gaeng kiew wan goong or green curry with shrimp.
At the 2014 World Culinary Travel Expo at EAT! Vancouver Festival, visitors were treated to authentic Thai cooking at the Thailand Pavilion hosted by Royal Thai Consulate-General, Vancouver. Crowds congregated for a taste of Chef Kamonpiphat Chanasit’s mouth-watering pad Thai noodles, tom yum soup and green curry – while bystanders admired Chef Jetniphat Bunyasawat’s elaborate fruits and vegetable carvings and browsed display tables stacked with curry condiments, coconut drinks, ready-to-use sauces and noodles, organic and gluten-free products. For recipes featured at the event, CLICK HERE.
In Thailand, most locals shop for their groceries daily as the use of fresh ingredients is essential in Thai cooking. Local life seems to revolve around its many colourful markets, the most famous one being the Damnoen Saduak floating market situated about 100 kilometers southwest of Bangkok. From early morning to noon, hundreds of vendors and buyers pack the canal, buying and selling agricultural products and food off their sampans. People mingle, eat, find bargains and trade at the market – the quintessential crossroads where social, economic, cultural and ethnic diversity are embraced.
Popularity for value healthcare holidays has also soared in the recent years. By travelling to Thailand for medical or dental work, Canadian and American visitors can receive as good or better care delivered to them at a lesser cost than what they would pay local care providers. Thai hospitals are equipped with state of the art facilities and staffed by highly qualified physicians, dentists and nurses. Their settings and service standards are comparable to that of five-star hotels.
Speaking at the Expo, the Royal Thai Consul General in Vancouver, Sutthiluck Sa-ngarmangkang assured visitors that Thailand is a safe destination to visit despite the recent military takeover. She added that the country’s strategic location serves as an ideal travel and business gateway into the heart of Asia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, regarded as one of world’s fastest growing economic regions with a combined population of over 600 million people.
Watch the video interview with Consul General Sutthiluck Sa-ngarmangkang on Thai Food
For more information on Thailand, go to www.thaiconsulatevancouver.ca
Photo Credits: Royal Thai Consulate-General and Thai Trade Centre, Vancouver, Canada