In his book The Principles of Thai Cookery, celebrity chef, writer and authority on Thai cuisine McDang wrote: "What is Thai food? Every country in the world has its own food profile. Thai meals typically consist of rice (khao in Thai) with many complementary dishes shared by all. This naturally aromatic long-grained rice grows in abundance in the verdant patchwork of paddy fields that blanket Thailand's central plains. 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. As in many other rice eating cultures, to say "eat rice" (in Thai "kin khao"; pronounced as "gin cow") means to eat food. Black sticky rice is a type of sticky rice with a deep purple-red color that may appear black. 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. Like most other Asian cuisines, rice is the staple grain of Thai cuisine. Thai food is known for its enthusiastic use of fresh (rather than dried) herbs and spices. 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. 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. We think of all parts of the meal as a whole - sum rap Thai (the way Thais eat), is the term we use for the unique components that make up a characteristically Thai meal. One type, which is indigenous to Thailand, is the highly prized, sweet-smelling jasmine rice (khao hom mali). As in many other rice eating cultures, to say "eat rice" (in Thai "kin khao"; pronounced as "gin cow") means to eat food. Tables and chairs were introduced as part of a broader Westernization drive during the reign of King Mongkut, Rama IV. Another unpolished grain, black sticky rice has a rich nutty flavor that is most often enjoyed in desserts. Balance, detail and variety are of paramount significance to Thai chefs. The plain rice, sticky rice or the khanom chin (Thai rice noodles) served alongside a spicy Thai curry or stir-fry, tends to counteract the spiciness. Tables and chairs were introduced as part of a broader Westernization drive during the reign of King Mongkut, Rama IV. We think of all parts of the meal as a whole - sum rap Thai (the way Thais eat), is the term we use for the unique components that make up a characteristically Thai meal. In most Thai restaurants, diners will have access to a selection of Thai sauces (nam chim) and condiments, either brought to the table by wait staff or present at the table in small containers.
Cuisines evolve continually, and new cuisines are created by innovation and cultural interaction. One recent example is fusion cuisine, which combines elements of various culinary traditions while not being categorized per any one cuisine style, and generally refers to the innovations in many contemporary restaurant cuisines since the 1970s. Nouvelle cuisine (New cuisine) is an approach to cooking and food presentation in French cuisine that was popularized in the 1960s by the food critics Henri Gault, who invented the phrase, and his colleagues André Gayot and Christian Millau in a new restaurant guide, the Gault-Millau, or Le Nouveau Guide.