Laos is the country, Laotians are the inhabitants, Lao are the principal ethnic group; so Lao cookery is not the same as the cookery of Laos, something which is shared with 56 other ethnic groups, some of them very small hill tribes. Most Lao live outside Laos, in China or N. Thailand.
The Lao are almost omnivorous and have many unconventional sources of protein, such as insects, which do not find a place in the statistics compiled by international authorities. So they are apt to be described as less well nourished than they really are. What is certain is that they are among the most beautiful people in the world, that their disposition is of great amiability, and their habits agreeably relaxed. At its best, life in Laos must have been almost paradisiacal.