Thailand is grouped with Southeast Asia cuisines. Thai food is usually prepared stir-fried, steamed, or grilled over charcoal, however, ultimately the wok dominates the kitchen. Thai food has been described to have the "consistency of Chinese food, the spiciness of Mexican food, the lusciousness of Polynesian and the extract flavors of none of the above." The original home of the T'ai tribes existed in the mountain valleys of southwestern China, and when these tribes emigrated to their present home of Thailand, the abundance of tropical plants, game, fish and spices shaped their cuisine culture. Specific dynasties dedicated a large effort toward good food. Dynasties would hold cooking contest amongst the ladies of the palace. Often, these dishes would filter through the classes into the peasant's homes. Thai food is primarily dominated by six ingredients: fresh coriander, chilies, coconut, garlic (used in mass quantities), fish sauce and flavoring, and citrus flavorings, which are derived from lemon grass, lime rind and citrus leaves. Now Chinese influence surfaces with the presence of five distinct flavors: sweet, sour, salt, bitter, and hot. Rice is used in combination of nearly every dish. Thailand is considered the rice bowl of Asia, and the average Thai person eats a pound of rice a day. In fact, breakfest is usually a bowl of rice with broth, crispy garlic, and crushed peanuts. The people of Thailand eat small portions of food very often. For example, breakfast venders on the streets sell slices of green mango dusted with sugar, or thinly sliced chicken with a spicy sauce. In the afternoon noodle vendors appear selling varies noodle soups. Noodles are considered an appropriate lunch; however, it is not served at dinner. The main meal of the day is prepared in the early evening. Food is brought to the table as soon as it is prepared, there are no designated courses. The meal is designed so the textures and flavors balance one another. At the end of the meal a bowl of fresh fruit will be served in place of a sweet desert. Surprisingly, Thai food is eaten with forks and spoons. Chopsticks are only used a person in dining at a Chinese restaurant. Food decor is very characteristic of Thai food. Scarlet chilies become lilies, onions become chrysanthemums, and cucumbers become leaves. Some salads are presented as bouquets of flowers, and ginger roots are carved into flowers, fish birds and butterflies. The Thai culture celebrates food with a joy and love of art. China:
The geography, climate, and conglomeration of races contribute to the wide variety of Chinese cooking. Climates range from subarctic in the north to the subtropical in the south. Ancient Chinese philosophy of food has always emphasized the blending of textures, flavors, and colors. They have five main flavors of salt, sweet, sour, bitter, and hot, but one flavor can not dominate the meal. Chinese cuisine is divided into North, South, East, and West. The north is home to the Imperial Palace which was the gourmet capital in the 1600s. Thus it began a melting pot of flavors of different foods. The north's staple corps include wheat, millet, and barely. The noodles, steamed buns and dumplings take the place of rice. However, the south is known for the abundance of ingredients and many seafood dishes. Canton, a large port on the West River attracted Arabs in the fourth century, and the fine foods attracted the Portuguese in the fifteenth century. Their main seasonings include fermented bean curd, oyster sauce, rice-wine vinegar, and ginger seasonings. The common sweet-and-sour dishes derived here from the demand of foreigners. Furthermore, the east provides rice for the most of the country. Also, the foothills in the southern mountains of Fukien proved a great environment for tea plantations. Being near the Pacific Ocean provides a variety of sea food. The providence Fukien is...