Thais outraged as signature curry voted world's worst dish

By Hoang Phong   April 9, 2024 | 03:45 pm PT
Thais outraged as signature curry voted world's worst dish
A bowl of kaeng tai pla, a southern Thai curry made with fish entrails. Photo courtesy of TasteAtlas
Many Thai nationals have expressed outrage after kaeng tai pla, a southern Thai curry made with fish entrails, was voted the worst-rated dish by international food magazine TasteAtlas.

The ranking released last month was based on nearly 434,000 user ratings on the TasteAtlas website as of March 16, but just over 301,000 of those ratings were considered eligible.

According to TasteAtlas, the thick and aromatic fish curry originated in southern Thailand.

The base of the dish is prepared with tai pla, or fermented fish entrails, and a spicy curry paste consisting of chili peppers, galangal, shrimp paste, turmeric, shallots, and lemongrass.

Many Thai people were disappointed with the ranking and took to social media to defend the dish.

"Kaeng tai plais delicious and spicy and I love it," one netizen wrote.

"I like kaeng tai pla, though it's very spicy," another said.

"The food culture of each area is different and may not be to the liking of the people tested. But people in the area like it. That’s enough for me," another wrote.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said, as cited by Bangkok Post, that the ranking only depicted the gastronomic preference of certain individuals.

"Culinary likings are a subjective matter. Some people may give negative comments towards certain Thai dishes, but many more Thai dishes are at the same time regarded among the best-tasting in the world," he added.

Srettha posted on his Instagram "Could you recommend any great kaengtai pla restaurants in Koh Samui and Nakhon Si Thammarat? I'd love to find restaurants to dine at and help review for TasteAtlas to show that kaengtaipla and southern Thai cuisine are popular and excellent choices in our country."

The list of the world's worst-rated dishes also included banh dau xanh (mung bean cake), a delicacy from Vietnam’s northern province of Hai Duong.

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