81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
as good as it gets,
By A Customer
This review is from: Thai Food (Hardcover)There are almost as many Thai cookbooks as there are Thai restaurants in London. However, the majority of both offer toned-down, inauthentic fare that would be laughed at in Thailand itself. This book is a definitive compilation of carefully researched recpies that capture the enormous complexity and variety of one of the world's great cuisines - one that is all too often reduced to an embarassingly crude option of green/red/yellow curry by an ignorant British food industry. Don't buy this book if you want pretty pictures and "fake" dishes like sesame prawn toast - as natural a reflection of the depth of native cuisine as the ubiquitous banana pancakes on Bangkok's Khao Sarn road are of all of French, or Italian cuisine. Do buy it if you really want to understand Thai food and Thai people's passion for food, and if you want to create all manner of dishes, from the simple to the complex, that will delight even the most discerning of palates.
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Initial post: 6 Mar 2011 23:23:31 GMT
What do you mean by "fake dishes like sesame prawn toast"? It's just a contemporary variation of "hatosi" (scrimp toast), a Cantonese dish; available in most Asian countries including Thailand and has been for a century or so.
"[...] ignorant British food industry"? Wow. Are you going to be fair and say the Thai food industry is "ignorant" for having a localised version of fish and chips and other traditional British dishes too? It's a lot more complex than you seem to believe.
My family's home country has many localised dishes originated from other countries including Britain, but I wouldn't call them "ignorant" or those dishes "inauthentic". Those dishes are merely localised versions that suit the locals' access to ingredients or taste. It's same with Thai and other "foreign" dishes for British people (including some British-born Thai people) and why not? There IS a difference between localised dishes and "inauthentic" dishes, and it still doesn't mean localised dishes aren't "native". They are *because* they're localised. Please recognise this difference.
It's ironic you should say these things because Thailand is home to one of major collectives of diasporas in the world, particularly Chinese, Vietnamese, Laotian, Malaysian, Portuguese, French and a number of smaller minorities including Jewish people. How could they not be immune to influences?
I'm sorry for using many sarcastic quote marks so excuse me, but I'm that annoyed. Sorry, but I'm tired of people deciding what's "authentic" and what isn't. It's great that David Thompson authored this book, but it's still all about his interpretation. Just like those by other people including Thai people themselves. That's part of the fun.
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