Discover the Sweet and Savory World of Thai Chocolate Dishes
Chocolate is a beloved dessert around the world, and Thai cuisine has wonderfully incorporated the sweet ingredient into its culinary traditions. Thai chocolate dishes do not just offer a sweet and indulgent taste, but they also provide a savory and spicy twist that complements the unique flavors of Thai cuisine.
In this article, we will explore the world of Thai chocolate dishes, from traditional desserts to innovative and creative chocolate-infused creations. We will also delve into the history and culture of chocolate in Thailand.
The History and Culture of Chocolate in Thailand
The origins of chocolate can be traced back to the ancient civilizations of Mexico and Central America, where it was considered a royal food. Chocolate was introduced to Thailand by Portuguese traders in the 17th century, where it was initially only consumed by royalty due to its special status as a luxury import.
In modern-day Thailand, chocolate is a ubiquitous ingredient used in everything from sweet desserts to savory dishes. The Thai chocolate industry has also experienced tremendous growth and investment in recent years, with small artisan chocolate makers and big chocolate brands producing high-quality chocolate.
Traditional Thai Chocolate Desserts
Thai cuisine has a range of traditional desserts that incorporate chocolate in unique and delicious ways. One such dessert is “Khao Niew Ma Muang,” or mango sticky rice with chocolate sauce. The dish consists of sweet sticky rice topped with fresh ripe mango slices and drizzled with a rich and decadent chocolate sauce.
Another popular Thai dessert is “Tab Tim Kraw,” or red ruby water chestnuts in coconut milk. This dessert consists of crunchy water chestnut cubes coated in vibrant red tapioca flour, served in a bowl of sweet and creamy coconut milk, and topped with a sprinkle of shaved chocolate.
Innovative and Creative Thai Chocolate Dishes
Thai chefs have taken chocolate to new heights by incorporating it into savory dishes, creating uniquely flavorful and inventive creations. One such dish is “Pla Gapong Neung Manao,” or steamed sea bass with chocolate chili sauce. The dish consists of perfectly cooked sea bass fillets topped with a warm and spicy chocolate chili sauce.
Another chocolate-inspired dish is the “Thai-style chocolate fondue.” The fondue consists of a pot of melted chocolate infused with Thai spices, served with an array of fruits, herbs, and snacks for dipping. The dish provides a fun and interactive way to enjoy chocolate, perfect for a date or gathering with friends.
What type of chocolate is commonly used in Thai dishes?
Typically, Thai chefs use dark chocolate with a high percentage of cocoa solids. The bittersweet taste of dark chocolate complements the sweet and spicy flavors of Thai cuisine.
Are there any vegan Thai chocolate dishes?
Yes, many Thai chocolate desserts are vegan, and chefs often replace dairy and animal products with coconut cream and other plant-based ingredients.
Is Thai chocolate spicier than regular chocolate?
Yes, Thai chocolate is often infused with Thai chili, giving it a warm and spicy kick that complements the sweet and bitter notes of the chocolate.
Can I find Thai chocolate outside of Thailand?
Yes, many online retailers sell Thai chocolate products, and some specialty food stores carry Thai chocolate bars and snacks.
Do Thai people eat chocolate as a snack?
Yes, chocolate is a popular snack in Thailand, and many street vendors sell chocolate bars and snacks to locals and tourists alike.
Thai chocolate dishes offer a unique and flavorful experience that combines the rich and indulgent taste of chocolate with the bold and spicy flavors of Thai cuisine. From traditional desserts to innovative savory dishes, Thai chefs have incorporated chocolate in creative ways that are sure to satisfy any chocolate lover’s cravings. Whether you’re in Thailand or exploring Thai cuisine in your own kitchen, be sure to try these sweet and savory Thai chocolate dishes.