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"To read a book about a country's cuisine isn't simply to go looking for 'good things'; it is also to better know - by means of the recipes - the customs and the richness or poverty of a place, and the spirit of those who inhabit it. It is above all, to participate in the symbolic celebration of the shared repast."

~ Ginette Olivesi-Lorenzi, La Cuisine Mentonnaise



Savoring Tuscany : Recipes and Reflections on Tuscan Cooking

Savoring Tuscany : Recipes and Reflections on Tuscan Cooking (The Savoring Series)
by Lori De Mori

Part of the Savoring Series, which is one of my favorite series of books about Regional Cuisine, Savoring Tuscany is a beautiful book filled with sumptuous recipes and delectable writing about the cuisine and culture of Tuscany. As with all the books in the series, Savoring Tuscany is put together beautifully and all of the recipes are well written and presented. The recipes that we tested were all superb and the book is an excellent source for fans of Tuscan cuisine.


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Thailand By the Numbers
by Wen Zientek-Sico

Learn more about the country of Thailand through this basic listing of the population, geography, economy, and government.

Lotti - Daure
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Background



A unified Thai kingdom was established in the mid-14th century; it was known as Siam until 1939. Thailand is the only southeast Asian country never to have been taken over by a European power. A bloodless revolution in 1932 led to a constitutional monarchy. In alliance with Japan during World War II, Thailand became a US ally following the conflict.

Geography

Location: Southeastern Asia, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, southeast of Burma

Geographic coordinates: 15 00 N, 100 00 E

Map references: Southeast Asia

Area: total: 514,000 sq km
land: 511,770 sq km
water: 2,230 sq km

Area - comparative: slightly more than twice the size of Wyoming

Land boundaries: total: 4,863 km
border countries: Burma 1,800 km, Cambodia 803 km, Laos 1,754 km, Malaysia 506 km

Coastline: 3,219 km

Maritime claims: continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Climate: tropical; rainy, warm, cloudy southwest monsoon (mid-May to September); dry, cool northeast monsoon (November to mid-March); southern isthmus always hot and humid

Terrain: central plain; Khorat Plateau in the east; mountains elsewhere

Elevation extremes: lowest point: Gulf of Thailand 0 m
highest point: Doi Inthanon 2,576 m

Natural resources: tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, tantalum, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite, fluorite, arable land

Land use: arable land: 34%
permanent crops: 6%
permanent pastures: 2%
forests and woodland: 26%
other: 32% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 44,000 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: land subsidence in Bangkok area resulting from the depletion of the water table; droughts

Environment - current issues: air pollution from vehicle emissions; water pollution from organic and factory wastes; deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by illegal hunting

Geography - note: controls only land route from Asia to Malaysia and Singapore

People

Population: 61,230,874 (July 2000 est.)

Age structure: 0-14 years: 24% (male 7,386,231; female 7,107,010)
15-64 years: 70% (male 21,102,363; female 21,714,411)
65 years and over: 6% (male 1,726,043; female 2,194,816) (2000 est.)
Population growth rate: 0.93% (2000 est.)

Birth rate: 16.86 births/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Death rate: 7.53 deaths/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Net migration rate: 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2000 est.)

Sex ratio: at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.79 male(s)/female
total population: 0.97 male(s)/female (2000 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 31.48 deaths/1,000 live births (2000 est.)

Life expectancy at birth: total population: 68.55 years
male: 65.29 years
female: 71.97 years (2000 est.)

Total fertility rate: 1.88 children born/woman (2000 est.)

Nationality: noun: Thai (singular and plural)
adjective: Thai

Ethnic groups: Thai 75%, Chinese 14%, other 11%

Religions: Buddhism 95%, Muslim 3.8%, Christianity 0.5%, Hinduism 0.1%, other 0.6% (1991)

Languages: Thai, English (secondary language of the elite), ethnic and regional dialects

Literacy: definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 93.8%
male: 96%
female: 91.6% (1995 est.)

Government

Country name: conventional long form: Kingdom of Thailand
conventional short form: Thailand

Capital: Bangkok

Administrative divisions: 76 provinces (changwat, singular and plural); Amnat Charoen, Ang Thong, Buriram, Chachoengsao, Chai Nat, Chaiyaphum, Chanthaburi, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Chon Buri, Chumphon, Kalasin, Kamphaeng Phet, Kanchanaburi, Khon Kaen, Krabi, Krung Thep Mahanakhon (Bangkok), Lampang, Lamphun, Loei, Lop Buri, Mae Hong Son, Maha Sarakham, Mukdahan, Nakhon Nayok, Nakhon Pathom, Nakhon Phanom, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Sawan, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Nan, Narathiwat, Nong Bua Lamphu, Nong Khai, Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Pattani, Phangnga, Phatthalung, Phayao, Phetchabun, Phetchaburi, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phrae, Phuket, Prachin Buri, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ranong, Ratchaburi, Rayong, Roi Et, Sa Kaeo, Sakon Nakhon, Samut Prakan, Samut Sakhon, Samut Songkhram, Sara Buri, Satun, Sing Buri, Sisaket, Songkhla, Sukhothai, Suphan Buri, Surat Thani, Surin, Tak, Trang, Trat, Ubon Ratchathani, Udon Thani, Uthai Thani, Uttaradit, Yala, Yasothon

Independence: 1238 (traditional founding date; never colonized)

National holiday: Birthday of His Majesty the King, 5 December (1927)

Flag description: five horizontal bands of red (top), white, blue (double width), white, and red

Economy

Industries: tourism; textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing, such as jewelry; electric appliances and components, computers and parts, integrated circuits, furniture, plastics; world's second-largest tungsten producer and third-largest tin producer

Agriculture - products: rice, cassava (tapioca), rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts, soybeans

Exports: $58.5 billion (f.o.b., 1999 est.)

Exports - commodities: computers and parts, textiles, rice

Exports - partners: US 22.3%, Japan 13.7%, Singapore 8.6%, Hong Kong 5.1%, Netherlands 4.0%, UK 3.9%, Malaysia 3.3%, China 3.2%, Taiwan 3.2%, Germany 2.9% (1998)

Currency: 1 baht (B) = 100 satang

Exchange rates: baht (B) per US$1 - 37.349 (January 2000), 37.844 (1999), 41.359 (1998), 31.364 (1997), 25.343 (1996), 24.915 (1995)

Text condensed from the CIA The World Factbook.