Thai meals typically consist of rice (khao in Thai) with many complementary dishes shared by all. Khanom chin is fresh rice vermicelli made from fermented rice, and eaten with spicy curries such as green chicken curry (khanom chin kaeng khiao wan kai) or with salads such as som tam. Janer (2008) observes that this sharing of the same plato nacional by different countries calls into question the idea that every country has a unique national dish that is special to that country; she states that cuisine does not respect national and geopolitical borders. Today, however, most Thais eat with a fork and spoon. This style of serving food is called khao rat kaeng (lit.
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. Traditionally, fish, crustaceans, and shellfish play an important role in the diet of Thai people. Anna Leonowens (of The King and I fame) observed in her book The English Governess at the Siamese Court (1870). The traditional recipe for a rice dish could include as many as 30 varieties of rice. That number has been drastically reduced due to genetic modifications. Only the husks of the red rice grains are removed which allows it to retain all its nutrients and vitamins, but unlike brown rice, its red color comes from antioxidants in the bran.
Furthermore, because national dishes are so interwoven in a nation's sense of identity, strong emotions and conflicts can arise when trying to choose a country's national dish. These venues have a large display showing the different dishes from which one can choose. Like most other Asian cuisines, rice is the staple grain of Thai cuisine. They often feature as a garnish, especially with one-dish meals. Meats used in Thai cuisine are usually pork and chicken, and also duck, beef, and water buffalo. Common flavors in Thai food come from garlic, galangal, coriander/cilantro, lemon grass, shallots, pepper, kaffir lime leaves, shrimp paste, fish sauce, and chilies. Stews of meat, plantains, and root vegetables are the platos nacionales of several countries in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean: Colombian ajiaco, and the sancocho of the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Panama. Stews of meat, plantains, and root vegetables are the platos nacionales of several countries in Central America, South America, and the Caribbean: Colombian ajiaco, and the sancocho of the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Panama. This naturally aromatic long-grained rice grows in abundance in the verdant patchwork of paddy fields that blanket Thailand's central plains.