The Myth about Thai food, its people and Chili

28 Nov

The other day during dinner, my sister was saying something that is fairly common misunderstanding about Thai people and the food.

“XXX’s mother thinks that I eat spicy food all the time, I told her I can have non-spicy food too” she said.

Well, it is quite common for non-Thais to think that all of the Thai food must be spicy, it’s not always the case.  Many of the dishes are not spicy at all. A lot of my friends can’t tolerate the hotness of chili and not all the Thai food are spicy.  In fact,  chilies in Thailand and the regions were introduced by the European merchants few hundred years ago and the origin of chilies are from Central America.

When the non-Thai comes to Thailand to experience Thai food, many are surprised to see that we have a huge varieties of food that do not includes chili as the main ingredients. Although I am no expert in Thai food, but when thinking hard about it (and with the help of Google) lots of Thai dishes are pretty much influenced by outside world, but we just simply made it famous, the original Thai diet were just meat/fish and rice, and oh…fish sauce.

I would say that Thai people have different level of toleration towards spiciness. I am always amazed how my mother used to eat fresh chili just like munching on chips,  my little sister could eat chili since she was two where as my other two siblings are not fond of spicy food at all, but I wouldn’t argue that chili makes Thai food taste better just like wine to the stew.  It also has many medical benefits to it in which the older generation of Thais must’ve known about.


One of it is to cure hangovers. ….. so.. next time when you have too much to drink… try chew on chilies(?).. hmm.. maybe not.. but if you have chilies and want to get rid of spiciness in your mouth,  try drink some milk instead of having a gallon of water.




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