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Like most other Asian cuisines, rice is the staple grain of Thai cuisine. According to Thai food expert McDang, rice is the first and most important part of any meal, and the words for rice and food are the same: khao. As in many other rice eating cultures, to say “eat rice” (in Thai “kin khao”; pronounced as “keen cow”) means to eat food. Rice is such an integral part of the diet that a common Thai greeting is “kin khao reu yang?” which literally translates as “Have you eaten rice yet?” The traditional recipe for a rice dish could include as many as 30 varieties of rice. That number has been drastically reduced due to genetic modifications.