What is authenticity? Very tough to come up with a cohesive theory on what counts as “genuine” and how to seek such things out.
What is authentic Thai food? As a non-Thai, how can you call something authentic? Does your idea of authentic Thai food align with what a Thai person’s idea of authentic Thai means? Do people from different parts of Thailand have different ideas of what authentic Thai means?
Perhaps authentic is the simultaneous convergence of three things:
Product: what’s being made?
Culture: how is it being made?
Brand: why is it being made?
When any one of these three things aren’t in alignment with each other, we might get an “uncanny valley” moment where we feel like something isn’t right. Like when American Airlines’ try-hard customer service == awkwardly synchronized drop-down of in-flight TV screens, which air cheesy/poorly-produced videos of smiling flight attendants/actors.