The Thai cabinet yesterday, March 23rd, has approved the Culture Ministry’s proposal to nominate Thailand’s most popular dish, “Tom Yum Goong”, to be placed on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) list.
Government spokesperson Traisulee Traisoranakul stated after the cabinet meeting that the Tom Yum Goong, or Thai hot-and-sour soup with shrimp, reflects the simple lifestyle of the way of life in Thai agricultural communities living along rivers and canals in central Thailand, who have their own unique culinary culture related to nature.
The local dish is prepared by putting fresh shrimp, which are abundant in Thailand’s waterways, and is flavored with an abundance of local herbs such as galangal, fragrant lemongrass, chili, and kaffir lime leaves which are commonly grown in nearly every rural household.
“Tom Yum Goong, therefore, perfectly reflects the simplicity and lifestyle of Thai people who have been always dependent on nature and self-dependent. The dish also serves many health benefits,” Traisulee added.
Apart from being recognized and appreciated internationally, the spokesperson further explained that the dish also perfectly reflects the practice of Buddhism among some local people who prefer to avoid eating the meat of large animals on particular Buddhist religious days.
Tom Yum Goong will now compete to join Khon and traditional Thai massage in UNESCO’s ICH list as both were previously registered in 2018 and 2019, respectively.
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