From the famous street foods of Bangkok to delicacies served in sophisticated restaurants, Thai food is as rich and diverse as its culture. The traditions stretch back through history – for hundreds of years, Thai cooks have prided themselves on balance, freshness, variety and presentation. Thai chefs continue to use herbs and spices to create a balance of five fundamental flavours – hot (spicy), sour, sweet, salty and bitter. However, preferences and cooking styles do vary from region. Flavours tend to be smoother and sweeter in the central plain, saltier in north and hot and spicy in the south.
Today, diners can also choose from many international cuisines and special requirements such as Halal and Kosher diets are widely catered for. Enthusiastic cooks can also take the secrets of Thai food home with them. A number of recognised cookery schools run courses as short as one day, teaching everything from how to source ingredients to preparing and cooking authentic dishes.