These venues have a large display showing the different dishes from which one can choose. A Thai family meal would normally consist of rice with several dishes which should form a harmonious contrast of flavors and textures as well as preparation methods. The food is pushed by the fork, held in the left hand, into the spoon held in the right hand, which is then brought to the mouth. A traditional ceramic spoon is sometimes used for soup, and knives are not generally used at the table. It is common practice for the both the Thais and the hill tribe peoples who live in north and northeast Thailand, to use sticky rice as an edible implement by shaping it into small, and sometimes flattened, balls by hand (and only the right hand by custom) which are then dipped into side dishes and eaten. In expatriate communities, the dish is strongly reclaimed in order to retain the sense of national identity and ties to one's homeland, and is proudly served in homes and restaurants. An important concept with dining etiquette in the Thai manner is khluk: mixing the flavors and textures from the different dishes with the rice from ones plate. Simplicity isn't the dictum here, at all. Meats used in Thai cuisine are usually pork and chicken, and also duck, beef, and water buffalo. In his book The Principles of Thai Cookery, celebrity chef, writer and authority on Thai cuisine McDang wrote: "What is Thai food? Every country in the world has its own food profile. Other varieties of rice eaten in Thailand include: sticky rice (khao niao), a unique variety of rice which contains an unusual balance of the starches present in all rice, causing it to cook up to a sticky texture. Balance, detail and variety are of paramount significance to Thai chefs. A Thai family meal would normally consist of rice with several dishes which should form a harmonious contrast of flavors and textures as well as preparation methods. Game, such as wild boar, deer and wild birds, are now less common due to loss of habitat, the introduction of modern methods of intensive animal farming in the 1960s, and the rise of agribusinesses, such as Thai Charoen Pokphand Foods, in the 1980s. Traditionally, fish, crustaceans, and shellfish play an important role in the diet of Thai people. Anna Leonowens (of The King and I fame) observed in her book The English Governess at the Siamese Court (1870). Chopsticks are mainly used in Thailand for eating Chinese-style noodle soups, or at Chinese, Japanese or Korean restaurants. Both Peru and Ecuador claim ceviche as their national dish. The identification of Latin-American national dishes is stronger among expatriate communities in North America. In Latin American countries, the plato nacional is usually part of the cuisine of rural and peasant communities, and not necessarily part of the everyday cuisine of city dwellers. Common flavors in Thai food come from garlic, galangal, coriander/cilantro, lemon grass, shallots, pepper, kaffir lime leaves, shrimp paste, fish sauce, and chilies. In most Thai restaurants, diners will have access to a selection of Thai sauces (nam chim) and condiments, either brought to the table by wait staff or present at the table in small containers. The fork and spoon were introduced by King Chulalongkorn after his return from a tour of Europe in 1897 CE. When time is limited or when eating alone, single dishes, such as fried rice or noodle soups, are quick and filling. Khanom chin is fresh rice vermicelli made from fermented rice, and eaten with spicy curries such as green chicken curry (khanom chin kaeng khiao wan kai) or with salads such as som tam.
Cuisines evolve continually, and new cuisines are created by innovation and cultural interaction. One recent example is fusion cuisine, which combines elements of various culinary traditions while not being categorized per any one cuisine style, and generally refers to the innovations in many contemporary restaurant cuisines since the 1970s. Nouvelle cuisine (New cuisine) is an approach to cooking and food presentation in French cuisine that was popularized in the 1960s by the food critics Henri Gault, who invented the phrase, and his colleagues André Gayot and Christian Millau in a new restaurant guide, the Gault-Millau, or Le Nouveau Guide.