Cambodia’s way to travellers’ heart is through their stomach

Embarking on a journey to explore the culinary treasures of a country is an adventure in itself. While the well-known Asian cuisines from Japanese to Thai food have graced dining tables worldwide, there is still an undiscovered gem waiting to be savoured: Cambodian cuisine.

Why Cambodian cuisine is relatively unknown is because many people do not know Cambodia, said chef Kongleaphy Keam, who owns Roleque (pronounced: roll-irk), a Cambodian fine dining restaurant in Siem Reap. “Some of my friends’ families in the US still think that Cambodia is an African country.”

To break this notion, Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism launched a regional food map and pocket food guide in March identifying local food distinctive to each province.

According to Sovannroath Aing, deputy director-general of Ministry of Tourism’s general department of tourism development and international cooperation, food tourism is an attractive product as it connects people to Cambodian history, culture and tradition.

“Our food has its own taste and uniqueness. Through the promotion, we are also inviting tourists to visit the places,” he told Travel Weekly Asia, suggesting that they embark on food trails in the central, northern and coastal regions, and Tonle Sap.

In Siem Reap, the home of 12th-century Angkor Wat, native dish nom banh chok features locally made rice vermicelli served in yellow curry paste with ‘mud fish’ sourced from local rivers. Another specialty is prahok ktis, a unique fermented fish and minced pork dipping sauce.

Read the full article at Travel Weekly Asia!

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