Pad Thai is one of the most famous Thai dishes that Kiwis recognise and love, and it’s no wonder- it’s really, really delicious. It was even ranked 5th most delicious food in the world on a readers poll run by CNN Go in 2011.
But did you know that this dish was something that came to be through politics?
It allegedly started with Phibunsongkhram, who is referred to Phibun in Western history, who was the Prime Minister from 1938. He had previously been a military officer in a coup that overthrew the Thai monarchy.
Phibun was extremely worried about his country’s independence, disintegration and support for his rule. Even though Thailand had never been colonised, it was surrounded by French and British colonies. He was in support of changing the name from Siam to Thailand, and went to work thinking of ways to make his people proud of their country.
He passed 12 cultural mandates, including one where he ordered the creation of a new, national dish.
There are different accounts of how Pad Thai came to be: some say that Phibun held a competition, but Phibun’s son said that his family had cooked the dish before his father made it policy. Phibun thought that Pad Thai would improve the diet of the country as they mostly ate rice, and by cooking Pad Thai in clean pans would improve national hygiene.
Within a few years, vendors selling Pad Thai were everywhere in Thailand’s streets. Phibun’s son called it “Thailand’s first fast food”.
Can you believe how one dish can reflect so much history of one culture? It is the physical embodiment of the pride of Thai- which is why I want to make sure that you all have a meal that does Pad Thai justice. The meal from this kit will be authentic and be able to feed a family of four, and easily made from your kitchen.
Look out for the purple packaging!
Check out this cool pic that Michelle sent us of when she tried out the Pad Thai!