Thai cooking places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components. The spiciness of Thai cuisine is well known. As with other Asian cuisines, balance, detail and variety are of great significance to Thai chefs. Thai food is known for its balance of three to four fundamental taste senses in each dish or the overall meal: sour, sweet, salty, and bitter.
Thai meals typically consist of a single dish if eating alone, or rice with many complementary dishes served concurrently and shared by all. It is customary to serve more dishes than there are guests at a table. The dishes, also soups, are all served at the same time. Thai food was traditionally eaten while seated on mats or carpets on the floor as still happens in the more traditional households.
A Thai family meal will normally consist of rice with several dishes. Rice is a staple grain of Thai cuisine, as in most Asian cuisines. Noodles are popular as well but usually come as a single dish. Thai dishes use a wide variety of herbs, spices and leaves. Thai food is often served with a variety of sauces and condiments. Fruit also forms a large part of the Thai diet and are customarily served after a meal.