Rice

According to some sources, the people occupying the broad flat plains of what is now Thailand may well have been the first Asians to cultivate rice, if not the first in the world. Archaeological evidence unearthed in Thailand’s north-eastern plateau definitively dates rice cultivation back to 4000 B.C. Recently, in the Pai district of Mae Hong Son province high in the mountains west of Chiang Mai, evidence of rice was discovered that was about 6,000 years old. It may in fact go back as far as 10,000 years ago. Rice became so important to the people and culture of the north that the northern kingdom of which Chiang Mai was once the capital was called Lan-na Thai, literally "one million Thai rice fields."

American Fried Rice

Thai name: Khao pat amerigan

You don't have to be in Thailand too long or make too many Thai friends before one of them will eventually order khao pat amerigan at some food stall or restaurant. I frequently get asked about it by first-time visitors, who assume that the dish really is American in origin, even if they themselves are from the USA and have never heard of it.

Black Rice Pudding

Black rice pudding is a relatively common dessert in Thailand as well as Indonesia. It is a very warming dish, so it is usually more easily found in the cool season. The naturally sweet taste of the rice is why you find it used in desserts rather than served with main courses. Black rice has a well deserved reputation for taking forever to cook, since it's a more 'natural' grain with a strong husk. However, I've found that if I soak the rice for much longer than just the 'overnight' usually recommended, it reduces the cooking time considerably.

Black Rice

Black rice is an ancient variety that isn't very popular except for desserts. That's probably because it takes so long to cook compared to most other types of rice. As you can see in the photo, the color isn't really completely black, nor is it uniform. When you soak the rice, as you must do long before you cook it, the water will turn dark purple.

Jasmine Rice

According to some sources, the people occupying the broad flat plains of what is now Thailand may well have been the first Asians to cultivate rice, if not the first in the world. Archaeological evidence unearthed in Thailand's north-eastern plateau definitively dates rice cultivation back to 4000 B.C. Recently, in the Pai district of Mae Hong Son province high in the mountains west of Chiang Mai, evidence of rice was discovered that was about 6,000 years old. It may in fact go back as far as 10,000 years ago.

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