The cuisine of Thailand and Vietnam, although distinct from that of any other nation, is a fusion of many cuisines. Thai is mostly notably influenced by China and India. That influence is seen today in the Thai tendency to blend contrasting tastes (sweet, sour, spicy, salty and even bitter) and textures. The influence of India can be seen in the curry, pastes and stewed dishes. Thai food has a character distinct from that of the other countries in Southeast Asia; this is due in part to the rugged independence of the Thai people, but perhaps more to the fact that Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that retained it’s pure culture.
Vietnamese cuisine is most particularly influenced by the Chinese and the French. Despite the varied landscape of Vietnam, Vietnamese dishes always returns to that balance of sweet and salty, sour and bitter, heavy and light, cooling and heating, fresh herbs and fermented soy, summer and spring, the yin and the yang and the all-powerful fish sauce.
Once you have learned the basic meals and have acquired an idea of how flavors and textures are harmonized in Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, you can be innovative and try new dishes next time. We hope you enjoy your experience, and that you will join us again.
Khob Khun Ka! — Thank you! — Cam On!