Eating is a way of life for Thais and it is more and more as the Thai government pushes on promoting food products and food events to stimulate especially the agricultural sector; with culinary tourism contributing increasingly to its promotion.
Before to dedicate officially 2018 as the “Year of Gastronomy” – in accordance to UNWTO suggestion-the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is organising the ‘Thailand Live Gastronomy’ festival. It will not only reafirm the importance of food and particularly street food, following polemics over the reorganisation of food carts in the streets of Bangkok. It is also part of the strategies to put greater emphasis on Gastronomy Tourism, which is considered as an important part of the travel through unique Thai local experiences.
The Thailand Live Gastronomy, which will be presented with a tagline ‘Flavours to the World’, is scheduled to take place next week, from 25 to 27 August, at one of Bangkok’s famous shopping and dining venues, Siam Square.
The event will be showcasing must-try signature local dishes from around the country in the ‘Original’ section, special menus from seven famous Street Food areas of Bangkok, and fresh seafood from fisherman villages in the Southern Region. “We look at highlighting five regions of Thailand for visitors to make them discovering that food is tasting very differently from one region to another. The five regions are the North, the Northeast, Central, East along the Gulf of Siam and the South”, explained Mrs. Thapanee Kiatphaibool, Executive Director, Events Department of TAT.
Thailand’s signature dishes including Tom Yum Kung. Phat Thai, Som Tam (Green Papaya Salad), Massaman Curry, and Green Curry – voted among the World’s 50 Best Foods by CNN Travel readers – will also be available for visitors to enjoy. In addition, four tuks–tuks will also be converted into local food trucks.
There will be a ‘Gastronomy Innovation’ section where talented Thai and foreign chefs will be showcasing innovative ways of cooking Thai food in a specially-designed kitchen. Local and international visitors will also have the chance to try and buy some rare tropical fruits from local orchards.
In addition, organic food will be available while Thai rice, the staple food of Thailand, will be presented in an exhibition as well as in the forms of many different dishes. “We will also show the various varieties of rice, not only jasmine rice but also mulberry or red rices”, added Mrs. Kiatphaibool.
The three-day food festival will be entertaining visitors with traditional performances including Thai kick-boxing (Muay Thai), mini concerts by Thai pop singers, cultural shows and traditional Thai music produced by Thai musical instruments.
TAT will also look at improving the culinary experience for travellers. “We know that they are health concern. This is not necessarily about the food safety but more about different tastes of foreigners, especially westerners. For example about the high content of sugar or sodium in some dishes or the use of palm oil, the way to raise poultry and cattle. These are all turning into sensitive issues for some tourists. We already talked to the restaurants’ association to see how we could create a label and provide these guaranties of high environmental and healthy standards for our food without altering the taste of our cuisine”, told Mrs. Kiatphaibool.