Saturday, October 17, 2009

Food Memories: Cambodia

What to say about Cambodia. I was looking through my pictures and realized I don't have very many pics to post. Cambodian food resembles the Thai tradition but a little less spicy. They have curries, rice dishes, noodles...I tried the Cambodian BBQ which was pretty impressive.
Cambodian BBQ is basically a clay pot with embers in it and that metal thing on top cooks your meat or seafood (including snake and ostrich!) and boils your noodles at the same time in the "moat" around the edge of the grilling implement. Note the beautiful trays of different sauces to go with the BBQ.

There was an unlimited supply of noodles, rice and veggies to go with the BBQ. The waitress must have replenished that tray like 4-5 times.

Cambodia, was a land of extreme food. I saw crickets, cockroaches, scorpions, spiders, fetal eggs and all kinds of insects on offer in the local markets. During the Khmer Rouge regime millions of people were purposely starved. As a result, they now seem to have an acquired taste for whatever you can find in the jungles and rice paddies.

Roasted Eel and Paddy rat, village near Slong Tum Lake, Cambodia. The eel I didn't enjoy-- too fishy. But the rat was ok. Total vegetarian rat, trapped in a nearby rice paddy. Not your urban sewer rat type. No siree, this one tasted mighty fine. Gamy. I imagine squirrels to taste similar. The little dish at the top contained a typical Cambodian dip/sauce. A quarter of a lime and equal pinches salt and white pepper. So good!

I drank a LOT of coconut water to stay hydrated. You can't tell from the picture but it is 42 degrees in the shade there. Cambodia was the hottest climate I have ever experienced. I became zen about it after awhile because here I was in the temples of Siem Reap, one of the Man Made wonders of the World, and I was obsessing about the heat, how much more I would be enjoying myself if I wasn't so hot, etc. I forced myself to think of the heat as only a sensation, neither good nor bad and suddenly I calmed down and felt cooler. Used this Jedi mind trick when carrying my heavy backpack for hours works! Back to the coconut juice...did you know it has all your vitamins, minerals and electrolytes to stay hydrated? It's also a self cooling need for refrigeration or ice. Lots of liquid in that fruit and so much cheaper than water! A coconut cost about 30 cents.

Maybe I didn't have time to take many pictures of food because I was too busy doing other getting elephant rides...

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