Thai “national soup” enjoys popularity in Yunnan
Tom Yum Kung soup is the epitome of Thai food in Yunnan and is known as the Thai “national soup”. The First Thailand Food Festival was recently held in Kunming. During the festival, three of the four restaurants in Kunming that won the “Thai Select” showed the cuisine of Tom Yum Kung soup. They said that the soup shows the love of a family.
Food is an important medium for communication between different cultures. “Yunnan brings together flavours from around the world, such as French food, Indian food and Korean food. But the most familiar for everyone is Thai food. There are many similarities between Thai food and Yunnan food. Generally, everyone can accept its taste. Therefore, Thai food has occupied a very important position in the restaurant industry in Yunnan,” said Fengzhi Moduan, an expert on Yunnan folk culture.
“Some 1,900 to 2,200 Tom Yum Kung bowls of soups are sold every month. Nearly everyone who comes to the restaurant orders Tom Yum Kung soup. Even if they don’t order it, they will order something similar to the taste of Tom Yum Kung soup, “ says Chong Yu, manager of the Thaishuang Gold Kunming Restaurant.
Now, Yunnan people can buy Tom Yum Kung soup base in the market and make their own Tom Yum Kung soup at home. Huang Ke, general manager of Yunnan Manqiao Import and Export Trading Co Ltd, who has been doing business between Yunnan and Thailand for 10 years, said that their annual sales of Tom Yum Kung soup base is close to 3,000 boxes weighing about 26 tonnes. In addition, Tom Yum Kung Soup Base is one of the products that Thai exhibitors must bring to the expos held in Yunnan. They are often sold out before the event is over.
In addition to Tom Yum Kung soup, other Thai foods are also very popular. Due to the geographical advantage, many materials of Thai food can be obtained in Yunnan. For example, the green lime for making papaya salad and long beans. Green papaya salad has become a common dish on the dining table in Yunnan. Fengzhi Moduan said that Yunnan people’s have a very open attitude towards eating and this promotes the development and integration of foreign food. We can also find traces of continuous integration from traditional Yunnan dishes.
Weeratan Bunprasongkij, consul of the consulate-general of Thailand in Kunming, who came to work in Kunming last December, said that he goes to Clound 18 Thai Restaurant every Friday, where he can experience the feeling of being at home. “I hope more Thai restaurants in China will be authorised with the Thai select in the future,” said Nitivadee Manitkul, consul-general of Thailand in Kunming.
Thai cuisine represented by Tom Yum Kung soup in Yunnan not only adds delicious food to the dining table of Yunnan people, but also builds a bridge of friendship for food cultural exchanges between Chinese and Thai people.
By Liu Yanqin