The Beverage of Gods

Coffee

Coffee is a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans, which are the seeds of "berries" from the Coffea plant. Coffee plants are cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in the equatorial regions of the Americas, Southeast Asia, India and Africa. The two most commonly grown are the highly regarded arabica, and the less sophisticated but stronger and more hardy robusta. The latter is resistant to the coffee leaf rust, Hemileia vastatrix, but has a more bitter taste. Once ripe, coffee beans are picked, processed, and dried. Green (unroasted) coffee beans are one of the most traded agricultural commodities in the world. Once traded, the beans are roasted to varying degrees, depending on the desired flavor, before being ground and brewed to create coffee.

Traditionally, the majority of ethnic Thai people ate with their hands like the people of India. Today, however, most Thais eat with a fork and spoon. The most notable influence from the West must be the introduction of the chili pepper from the Americas in the 16th or 17th century. Traditionally, a meal would have at least five elements: a dip or relish for raw or cooked vegetables (khrueang chim) is the most crucial component of any Thai meal.[23][24] Khrueang chim, considered a building block of Thai food by Chef McDang, may come in the form of a spicy chili sauce or relish called nam phrik (made of raw or cooked chilies and other ingredients, which are then mashed together), or a type of dip enriched with coconut milk called lon. As in many other rice eating cultures, to say "eat rice" (in Thai "kin khao"; pronounced as "gin cow") means to eat food.

Historical transmission

The earliest credible evidence of either coffee drinking or knowledge of the coffee tree appears in the middle of the 15th century, in the Sufi Muslim monasteries around Mocha in Yemen. Game, such as wild boar, deer and wild birds, are now less common due to loss of habitat, the introduction of modern methods of intensive animal farming in the 1960s, and the rise of agribusinesses, such as Thai Charoen Pokphand Foods, in the 1980s.[26] Traditionally, fish, crustaceans, and shellfish play an important role in the diet of Thai people.[27] Anna Leonowens (of The King and I fame) observed in her book The English Governess at the Siamese Court (1870). Some westerners think it's a jumble of flavours, but to a Thai that's important, it's the complexity they delight in". It's about the juggling of disparate elements to create a harmonious finish. With over 40 distinct ethnic groups each with its own culture and even more languages,[25] it comes as no surprise that Thai cuisine, as a whole, features many different ingredients (suan phasom; Thai: ส่วนผสม), and ways of preparing food. This made Thai as the cooking tradition with most dish that successfully made it to the list.

A beverage as black as ink, useful against numerous illnesses, particularly those of the stomach. Its consumers take it in the morning, quite frankly, in a porcelain cup that is passed around and from which each one drinks a cupful.

Ecological effects

They were introduced to Thailand by the Hokkien people starting in the 15th century, and by the Teochew people who started settling in larger numbers from the late 18th century CE onward, mainly in the towns and cities, and now form the majority of the Thai Chinese.[10][11][12] Such dishes include chok Thai: โจ๊ก (rice porridge), salapao (steamed buns), kuaitiao rat na (fried rice-noodles) and khao kha mu (stewed pork with rice). They are tom yam goong (4th), pad thai (5th), som tam (6th), massaman curry (10th), green curry (19th), Thai fried rice (24th) and moo nam tok (36th). Thai cuisine is one of the most popular cuisine in the world.

Non-glutinous rice is also used for making fried rice dishes, and for congee, of which there are three main varieties: khao tom (a thin rice soup, most often with minced pork or fish), khao tom kui (a thick, unflavored rice porridge that is served with side dishes), or chok (a thick rice porridge that is flavored with broth and minced meat). Western influences, starting in 1511 CE when the first diplomatic mission from the Portuguese arrived at the court of Ayutthaya, have created dishes such as foi thong, the Thai adaptation of the Portuguese fios de ovos, and sangkhaya, where coconut milk replaces unavailable cow's milk in making a custard.[17] These dishes were said to have been brought to Thailand in the 17th century by Maria Guyomar de Pinha, a woman of mixed Japanese-Portuguese-Bengali ancestry who was born in Ayutthaya, and became the wife of Constantine Phaulkon, the Greek adviser of King Narai. Many dishes that are now popular in Thailand were originally Chinese dishes.