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Food culture and diversity

Culture and food diversity have become important parts of human life over time. The way food is cooked and consumed around the world is influenced by many elements, such as social class, area, religion, and environment. In addition to feeding, food also plays an important role in society and culture. It is a means of connecting and communicating. The diversity of food cultures is demonstrated by the diverse traditions and cuisines that can be found around the world. Each has its own unique flavors, ingredients, and cooking methods. With an understanding of the diversity of food cultures, we can get a better understanding of communities histories and ways of life through food. 

Food in the era of Globalization

The era of liberalization not only created better aspects of economics, technologies, and cultures, but also escalated the aspect of foods. Have you ever noticed that most foods that we eat routinely today are the product of globalization. As our world becomes more and more connected, it has expanded the incredibly diverse range of cuisines and flavors. 

When different cultures meet, there is always an exchange of food cultures. Food diffusions are displaced from its origin and are now forming new hybrid cultures when displaced food cultures mix with local food culture. The most obvious fusion spotted is East meets West dishes, resulting from globalization. It combines an Eastern ingredient with a Western cooking process, or a Western ingredient with an Eastern cooking process. These are some examples of East meets West from several parts of the world.

Khao Soy Burger

Spicy Thai Pork and Basil Spaghetti

Kanom Thong Yod Coconut Cream Tart

However, there are some pros and cons during a period of rapid development increase.


Ending world hunger

Globalization is also the most essential factor that comes to reduce hunger and famine. Interconnection is the reason why the world can produce enough food to feed everyone on the planet. It came to cope with accessibility and availability problems.

Creating fewer barrier to access

Having high barriers to trade prevents marketers in many parts of the world from contributing more to the global food supply. Fortunately, thanks to the era of globalization, it came to help marketers increase their production worldwide since they can obtain the resources they need from across the globe. 

Technology for food production

The openness of the economy has facilitated a good environment for foreign direct investment. There has been faster transfer of technology and information across the world. Moreover, there is faster transfer of goods and services among countries. 


Displacement of cultural foods

Globalization has led to adoption of other countries’ food, especially western foods. This results in abandoning of cultural foods in many countries. For example, the growth of fast food restaurants has greatly increased in Asia. Majority of Asian people have started eating junk foods instead when it prompts to eat and fast. 

Devalue of cultural foods

It cannot be denied that free trade contributes a variety of choices to select what you want to eat. But it can be detrimental since people tend to choose imported foods instead of their cultural foods as having the mindset that imported products are always better.

Increase obesity levels 

When cultural foods are displaced by others, this is the result of increasing overweight and obesity. The plenty of food available influences people to eat more and more with an affordable price. 

Diversity on Korean food in Thailand

Talking about food diversity in Thailand, Korean food is one of the popular dishes that Thai people adore so much not only for its taste but the concept and the culture that expressed through the way of consuming creates mutual satisfaction for both Thai and the country of origin. 

Thais appear to be easily influenced to consume Korean food for plenty of reasons, one of which could be that our food tastes and concepts are similar.  We cannot deny that we are familiar with Korean BBQ since we are familiar with Moo Kra Ta or Thai BBQ, as well as Korean soy sauce marinated seafoods and fish sauce marinated seafoods. Even though there are many dishes that cannot be compared to Thai dishes, the tastes and styles are very similar, as both Korean and Thai people enjoy salty and spicy foods with a little sweetness and sour depending on the dish. Other than that, it can be seen that Thai-Korean fusion is quite ‘a thing’ in Thailand such as the famous Korean fried chicken, Bonchon, introducing ‘Larb’ flavor fried chicken, and the word ‘Korean’ is increasingly been adding to the Thai food industry such as fried seaweed in ‘Korean BBQ’ flavor, Korean chicken flavor instant noodles, Kimchi flavor fried potato, even the Italian-Thai fusion pizza shop, The Pizza Company, also included Korean fried chicken and Korean sauce into their menu.

However, Thai people may find the dishes different due to the fact that aside from the tastes and concepts, the culture has made the dishes sound unalike. In contrast to Thailand, where we can only expect what we ordered, Korean dishes frequently come with a variety of side dishes such as kimchi, soup, preserved radish, and a few more depending on the type of food and the restaurants. Apart from that, Korean food appears to be more amusing than we imagined, with examples such as ‘Bibimbap’ (meaning mixed rice) that you must mix or shake if it comes in a box, ‘Jumeokbap’ (rice held in fist) that not only combined the ingredients together but also had to shape it into a ball with our fists, same thing with the tradition of creating meal combinations, rice with seaweed, vegetable and grill meats, for example. A little interaction makes our food more enjoyable, and everyone may become influential, not just those who follow K-trends.  

Although those reasons are already understandable, the main reason why Korean food has become so deeply rooted in our culture is that we fall for Korean soft power, which comes in the form of Kpop, Kdrama, and Korean media (such as Mukbang or ASMR). And the fact that no one can escape the Korean influence demonstrates how strong they are. We not only admired their dishes, but we have accepted their culture, and their soft power has successfully implanted in our minds the way they eat each dish such as fried chicken with beer, grilled pork with soju (korean alcohol), how they consume every dish with kimchi as a side dish, and many more. 

Despite the fact that it seems to be all over the place and that most of us have an intense craving for Korean food, we cannot deny that the food diversity that they offer to our country makes a significant difference in our food choices and produces a variety of flavors. In the future, or perhaps right now, the Korean food trend will no longer be just a trend, instead will become one of our regular foods that we enjoy on a daily basis.

Example of food conglomeration

Chinese people have had a significant influence on Thai culture for thousands of years, particularly in the area of food. Chinese cuisine is widely known in Thailand due to its unique and charming qualities, bringing variety to the country’s food culture.

When people talk about Chinese food in Thailand, they often mention Yaowarat, or Chinatown, which is a residential area for Chinese and Thai people of Chinese descent who have been living in Thailand for a long time. This place is famous for its tourist attractions and legendary restaurants that serve delicious Chinese cuisine.


However, the trend of eating Chinese hot pot has become increasingly popular in recent times, and the Huai Khwang District has grown up as a new destination for hot pot restaurants. Due to growing interest from Thai people, hot pot and other Chinese businesses in this area have been rapidly expanding, so Huai Khwang might become a new Chinatown in the future.

Huai Khwang

Chinese Hot Pot

The Thai government has made it easier for foreign investors to do business in Thailand, resulting in the arrival of Chinese investors in various industries. The Chinese hot pot business in Huai Khwang is a good example of this trend. The increasing number of Chinese shops and businesses in the area has led to a rise in property prices, making the area more valuable for investors. This represents an example of food conglomeration, where Chinese investors trade and invest in Thailand, resulting in a concentration of Chinese-owned businesses in certain areas.

Food conglomeration has both pros and cons. On the positive side, Chinese investment can bring significant economic benefits for both countries. This includes job creation, increased trade, and access to new markets. Thailand is a popular tourist destination for Chinese visitors, and Chinese investment in the country can help support the growth of the tourism industry, generating revenue for both countries.

On the negative side, local people may face disadvantages in terms of importing raw materials and knowledge, as well as concerns about the concentration of Chinese-owned businesses leading to higher property prices. Additionally, local businesses may be affected by competition from Chinese businesses.

Example: Italian food

When we think about Italian food, pasta is the one dish that everyone has intimated with. Due to its distinctive and endearing characteristics, Italian cuisine is well-known in Thailand and adds variety to its culinary tradition.

Chulalongkorn, the King of Thailand, visited Europe for the first time in 1897, and while there, he tried as many cuisines as possible. However, Italian food was the one well-known European cuisine that the king did not enjoy. He disliked the food since it was “too greasy” and had too much garlic. Because Thai food at the time tended to be lighter fare like rice and fish, the heavy sauces and olive oil in many Italian dishes turned the Thai off.

Italian cuisine has come to Thailand by originating the first pizza restaurant for selling to American soldiers in the outbreak of the Vietnam war. In 1970, after Thailand’s economic growth, Thai people turned their attention to Italian food and adapted popular dishes such as pizza to adapt to Thais’ preference. Also, macaroni is the first type of pasta and the most popular that Thai people know.

For the initiator of how to eat, pasta is not the main dish that Thai people are familiar with. In Italy, the meal will start with appetizers, followed by ham or cold cuts,  pasta, then the main dish, which is meat and finish with dessert. While, Thailand only serves one main dish.

All in all, we cannot dispute that the variety of foods they provide for our nation influences our eating preferences and creates a wide range of tastes. Thus, every country has a unique signature so the taste of food will not look like the original compared to the Italian cuisine in another country. While many Thai who work or study abroad return home with a taste for Western cuisine, many still find traditional Italian food heavy and disagreeable, demonstrating that sometimes there’s no place like home even in this era of culinary innovation and fusion.

 Cuisine Culture and Diversity

Looking into the picture of Thai cuisine culture, there are various elements in the culture that were mixed with other cultures from the small scale such as Thai culture spread to Thai culture such as the E-Saan food trend, and bigger scale as international culture spread to Thai culture. Homemade pasta, noodles, Dimsum, Omakase, hot pot, etc. which are the food from international countries are always on the top trends in the food category. It can be analyzed that Thai people absorb food culture from the diversity of “Food” cultural diffusion.

International food

Not only the cuisine culture but the way of eating behavior is also changed by the mixed culture. The remarkable habit that can be seen in our modern society is the way of using chopsticks to eat foods. Thai people have received this culture from China since the reign of Rama I. Many eating habits come with using chopsticks for eating such as most types of noodle and Chinese, Korean, and Japanese foods; this culture is one of the biggest cultural spreads in many Asian countries.


Using spoon and fork is one of the eating cultures that Thai received from Western. Originally, Thai people used their hands to eat food as usual. Since the reign of RAMA IV, the Thai upper class began to learn how to use a fork and spoon that spread from Western.

Spoon and Fork

Using Hand

Additionally, eating Omakase is one of the popular trends from Japan. People who desire to eat cannot choose what they want to eat and have to follow the chef’s recommendation such as using their hands to eat for the best texture and taste etc.


Fast-food culture that came from Western was extremely widespread in Thailand for many years until modern society.  The reason behind this is that Thai people’s lifestyle has been greatly affected by time. Having food that is easy to buy and eat is not a bad choice.

Fast Food

In summary, culture and food diversity are the evolution of humans from the past to the present, demonstrating the cultural diversity and adaptation of human beings to different environments around the world. They are also historical vestiges. For the cultural section, Thai eating culture usually changes with time, cultural diffusion, and demonstrating the cultural diversity and adaptation of human beings to different environments around the world. They are also historical vestiges. For the cultural section, Thai eating culture usually changes with time, cultural diffusion, and “diversity.”. Moreover, people can change their eating habits and culture. Every national food and eating behavior can be a diversity for living in a modern society that contains a diversity of nationality and culture. It depicts traveling and communicating with each other from the past through the food changes and development of each area to the present. and it is a brief history of humans that have helped shape our societies and cultural identities over time.

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