When people talk about Thailand, they always talk about street food. It is easy to find cheap food at a good price in Thailand. Since I was young, I always saw people selling food everywhere on the streets. The place that I always love to go with my mother is a fresh market. Most of the fresh markets are not clean, but they have lots of delicious foods. It does not feel the same in Chicago because people do not sell food out on the street. What I miss the most about Thailand are easy access street food, the authentic Thai food and my hometown style cuisine.
When I am in Thailand, I see street food everywhere that I go. Vendors can sell food on the street and in the markets. They are open twenty-four hours in some areas. I can buy food and drink at cheap price and the taste is also good. The well-known menus are papaya salad, grilled chicken/pork skewer with sticky rice, fried rice, grilled fish, pad thai, and Thai coconut milk sticky rice with mango. When I need some Thai food, I cannot buy it in Chicago because the restaurants are not open twenty-four hours like Thailand. Most of Thai restaurants in Chicago are open late at four pm. and close early at ten pm.
In the U.S. most of Thai restaurants make the food for the American palette because authentic Thai food has a very strong taste. That is why chefs make it lighter for Americans. For example, the authentic papaya salad is very spicy. The chef put garlic, five to seven chillies, lemons, fresh papayas, tomatoes, and green beans. In Chicago, the chef still put all the ingredients, but make it lighter for Americans. Some ingredients are hard to find in America. For example, if I want to cook some curry dishes, I would use coriander seed, lemon basil, and cumin. It is hard to make the taste like authentic because the ingredients is hard to find.
When people think of street food, Thailand would be the first country that comes to mind. Some of my American friends who have been to Thailand tell me the same thing that they love the street food in Thai. It is one of many experiences that people who travel in Thailand and try street food. Thai food has its own identity. It is almost impossible to find any other cuisine that tastes like Thai food. No matter where I find it in the world, I will know it is Thai food. Even though, the taste of Thai food is not the same as in Thailand.