Why are there so many Thai restaurants when there are so few Thai Americans?

According to the U.S. Census, far fewer than one tenth of one percent of Massachusetts residents identify as Thai.

So why are there so many Thai restaurants? For instance, on Dorchester Avenue alone we have three: Just Thai, Thai Oishi, and Kapow.

Well, it turns out there is a reason (to quote Tom Lehrer in a very different context), and it’s not what you might think. At least it’s not what I might think. According to Vice, at least, the reason for the surprisingly high ratio of Thai restaurants to Thai residents in the U.S. is…

…the Thai government has been engaged in a deliberate effort to seed Thai restaurants worldwide, training chefs and providing financial support.

Read the whole article, and then you will know the rest of the story.

Categories: Food & Restaurants