Thai Food Goes Mainstream

Thai food has long been a favorite for late-night take out and hole-in-the-wall dining, but the flavor profile of Thai cuisine (including fish paste, chili, lime, and coconut) has had trouble entering the mainstream. There are now signs that this is changing, and the winning Thai formula of sweet and spicy is propelling it onto menus and into retail in places you might not expect.

Thai chili sauces are available at more and more locations, including Cincinnati-based Buffalo Wings & Rings, and many casual chains are doing Thai versions of their standbys. Pie Five Pizza Company in Texas released a limited edition Thai-rrific pie, with sweet chili sauce, chicken and cilantro, and Boston based burrito company Boloco offers a “Bangkok Thai Burrito” with peanut sauce and asian slaw. Some beverage companies, like Los Angeles’ The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, have even been getting in on the action – experimenting with condensed milk and black tea to make Thai iced lattes.

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