Tom Yam Soup
How About A Bowl Of Intangible Cultural Heritage Candidate For Dinner?
You're not used to seeing cultural heritage and food content together, are you? But when it comes to Thai cuisine, you should expect such surprises.
What would you think if we said that the intangible cultural heritage candidate in question is a soup? Tom Yam soups are one of the most popular foods among Thai dishes. The Ministry of Culture in Thailand is surely aware how valuable this soup is! The ministry is getting prepared to nominate Tom Yam soups to be on the list of UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritages.
It's not exactly known how the story of Tom Yam soups started since their history dates back to very old times. But it is believed that these soups were prepared and consumed in Central Thailand first, due to the abundance of shrimps in the Chao Phraya River. Many different flavors and ingredients have continued to be added to the soup but initially Tom Tam soups were prepared with shrimps as their main ingredient. The flavor of the soup has been enriched in time as new ingredients started to be added to the recipe.
The meaning of Tom Yam soups in Thai consists of words that reveal the character of the soup: The word “Tom” means “boiling”, and the word “yam” means “mixed”. Considering that oyster mushrooms, kaffir lime leaves, chillies, galangal, lemongrass are mixed and consumed together with chicken, seabass, prawns, seafood or vegetables in the soup, we can say that the name Tom Yum fully conveys the way the soup is prepared. Tom Yam soups, which combine bitter and sour flavors with fragrant herbs and have an original flavor, are the favorite Thai dishes not only of Thai but also of foreigners according to research by the National Cultural Commission of Thailand.
With Tom Yam soups, you won't just be able to get full in a delicious way. Whether you order seafood, chicken or vegetable options... Tom Yam soups promise to keep you healthy as well.
A joint study by Kasetsart University in Thailand and Kyoto and Kinki Universities in Japan found that the ingredients used to prepare Tom Yam soups were 100 times more effective in preventing cancerous tumors than other foods.
Flavor, cultural heritage, health... Is there another reason you need to try Tom Yam soups?