on the table is an accompaniment to rice, the most important
component to rice, the most important component of the meal.
Generally the rice is served with a curry, a fish dish, a
stir-fry, a salad, a soup and vegetables. All the food is
served at once. Unlike European tradition, soups come in a
large bowl and are eaten with the meal, not before it. Meals
begin when the host says “kin khao” or “eat
rice”. The food is not necessarily eaten piping hot.
Thai people eat with a spoon
and fork, the fork being used to push food onto the spoon
or to pick up pieces of meat or sliced fruit. Chopsticks are
only used with noodles, and the sticky rice is eaten by hand.
When eating in Thailand there are further subtle areas of
etiquette to be observed. Platters of food are left on the
table, and not passed around, as stretching is not considered
rude and someone on the other side of the table will always
be happy to spoon things onto you plate. You should only take
a couple of spoonfuls of each dish at a time as an accompaniment