The Capital of the small country of Laos is
Vientiane, it sits across the Mekong River from Thailand, so its
not surprising that Laotian Cuisine has a lot of similarities to
Thai food. Another big influence to Laos cuisine came after a
history of French rule, with the French bringing their French
breads and pastries to the country.
Rice is the foundation for all Lao meals, and almost all dishes
are cooked with fresh ingredients such as vegetables, freshwater
fish, poultry, duck, pork, beef or water buffalo.
Lime juice, lemon grass and fresh coriander give the food its
characteristic tang, and various fermented fish concoctions are
used to salt the food. Hot chilies, garlic, mint, ground
peanuts, tamarind juice, ginger and coconut milk are also often
used just like in Thai cuisine.
Dishes are often served alongside a plate of lettuce, mint,
coriander, mung-bean sprouts, lime wedges or basil in perhaps
one of the first forms of the salad bar, diners then create
their own lettuce-wrapped hors-douves to accompany the Meal.