We think of all parts of the meal as a whole – sum rap Thai (the way Thais eat), is the term we use for the unique components that make up a characteristically Thai meal. By this show of national identity, the community can resist social pressures that push for homogenization of many ethnically and culturally diverse communities into a single all-encompassing group identity such as Latino or Hispanic American. An important concept with dining etiquette in the Thai manner is khluk: mixing the flavors and textures from the different dishes with the rice from ones plate. In expatriate communities, the dish is strongly reclaimed in order to retain the sense of national identity and ties to one's homeland, and is proudly served in homes and restaurants. Thai cuisine is the national cuisine of Thailand.
Game, such as wild boar, deer and wild birds, are now less common due to loss of habitat, the introduction of modern methods of intensive animal farming in the 1960s, and the rise of agribusinesses, such as Thai Charoen Pokphand Foods, in the 1980s. Traditionally, fish, crustaceans, and shellfish play an important role in the diet of Thai people. Anna Leonowens (of The King and I fame) observed in her book The English Governess at the Siamese Court (1870). "rice covered with curry"), or for short khao kaeng (lit. In 2011, seven of Thai's popular dishes make it to the list of 'World's 50 Most Delicious Foods (Readers' Pick)' — a worldwide online poll by 35,000 people held by CNN International.
The Chinese also introduced the use of a wok for cooking, the technique of deep-frying and stir-frying dishes, several types of noodles, taochiao (fermented bean paste), soy sauces, and tofu. The cuisines of India and Persia, brought first by traders, and later settlers from these regions, with their use of dried spices, gave rise to Thai adaptations and dishes such as kaeng kari (yellow curry) and kaeng matsaman (massaman curry). Balance, detail and variety are of paramount significance to Thai chefs. In his book The Principles of Thai Cookery, celebrity chef, writer and authority on Thai cuisine McDang wrote: "What is Thai food? Every country in the world has its own food profile. Thai cuisine is the national cuisine of Thailand. Thai cuisine is the national cuisine of Thailand. Non-glutinous rice is also used for making fried rice dishes, and for congee, of which there are three main varieties: khao tom (a thin rice soup, most often with minced pork or fish), khao tom kui (a thick, unflavored rice porridge that is served with side dishes), or chok (a thick rice porridge that is flavored with broth and minced meat). Western influences, starting in 1511 CE when the first diplomatic mission from the Portuguese arrived at the court of Ayutthaya, have created dishes such as foi thong, the Thai adaptation of the Portuguese fios de ovos, and sangkhaya, where coconut milk replaces unavailable cow's milk in making a custard. These dishes were said to have been brought to Thailand in the 17th century by Maria Guyomar de Pinha, a woman of mixed Japanese-Portuguese-Bengali ancestry who was born in Ayutthaya, and became the wife of Constantine Phaulkon, the Greek adviser of King Narai. The dishes are all served at the same time, including the soups, and it is also customary to provide more dishes than there are guests at a table. The traditional recipe for a rice dish could include as many as 30 varieties of rice. That number has been drastically reduced due to genetic modifications.