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how is cambodian food a reflection of the culture

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INTRODUCTION 

This blog will discuss the food of Cambodia, and how it portrays its culture. The vast majority of Cambodian cuisine is based on rice and fish products - two staples that are very affordable and easy to come by. In addition to these staples, Cambodian cuisine often incorporates vegetables and fruits into dishes, giving them a unique flavour that sets them apart from other Southeast Asian countries.  

Aspects of Cambodian culture that are reflected in the food include the use of fresh herbs, spices, and sour flavours. Cambodian cuisine is light and refreshing, perfect for hot weather climates. The variety of dishes on offer means that everyone can find something to their taste, no matter what their dietary needs may be. 

READ ALSO: NORMS AND IDEAS REGARDING DRESSING WHILE TRAVELLING TO CAMBODIA AS A TOURIST

CAMBODIA’S HISTORY OF FOOD

Cambodia is known for its distinct cuisine. The different regions of the country have their own culinary traditions that are reflected in the food that is eaten there. For example, the Khmer people in the north eat a lot of rice and fish, while the people in the south enjoy more spicy and acidic dishes. 

Some of Cambodia's most famous dishes include kra pao, a Cambodian version of chicken curry, and Nem chhmarma, a popular dish made from minced beef and served with fried eggs. These dishes reflect the different cultures and regions of Cambodia, as well as the different types of food that are available there.

WHAT TYPES OF DISHES ARE COMMON IN CAMBODIAN CUISINE?

Some of the most commonly found dishes in Cambodian cuisine include rice and noodle dishes, curries, and char kreung (a type of Cambodian stir-fry).

A morning meal is often a challenge in urban areas, but breakfast is a different story in rural Cambodia. They often snack on custard apples as soon as they rise from their beds and consume an early lunch when the sun starts to heat up. Minutes later, if they still have sensation in their hands, it's time for an efficient porridge that is usually made from leftover rice, fried with dried fish or soaked in water with sweet mango and fish. 

The morning commute in Phnom Penh is a challenge because of the high volume of traffic. When Cambodians moved to Capital City, they brought their rural values with them and that contributed to jammed streets and people trying to get breakfast on the go. The price at vendors' stalls can range from $3 USD all the way up to $200 USD per dish. 

READ ALSO: WHAT IS A CAMBODIA KHMER VISA?

Doughnuts 

Cambodian doughnuts, Nom Korng, are a popular quick breakfast eaten all over Cambodia. Doughnuts come in many varieties but likely originated from the idea of dates. They represent many countries' influence on the country's culture before it became unified by colonialism.

Coffee beans

Coffee beans are roasted over charcoal and then covered in oil or pork fat. Boiling water is poured into the grounds in a cloth strainer before being brewed into coffee. The process produces a bitter, highly caffeinated beverage. Cambodians tend to like their coffee sweetened with milk and sugar, so this factor is taken into account as well. 

Rice 

You get served a bowl of rice where you can mix different dishes with an array of sauces and condiments to suit individual preferences. 

You might find fried rice or noodles in the street, but not as part of a home-cooked meal. Cambodians prepare fish in different methods and ways, from cooking it to drying it, to fermenting it into Prahok (a paste), or steaming it using the famous Amok technique. 

Fish Amok

A uniquely Cambodian dish, Fish Amok is a sweet and slightly pungent curry often found at Cambodian restaurants. Often served in a banana leaf bowl, the custard-like consistency is thanks to the trademark steaming process that is used during preparation.

Popular dishes like Kuy Teav, which is a type of noodle soup, and clay pots. Other popular roadside treats include Banh Chev, Deep Fried Bananas, and Phlea Sait Kow.

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Street foods

Street food is a daily routine for Cambodians. The Cambodian experience will be much richer if you are open to trying the local foods, including poultry. Duck and chicken are the most common meats consumed in Cambodia, with fish and pork also regularly eaten by locals. Pork and beef are considered treats. 

HOW IS CAMBODIAN COOKING DONE?

There is no one definitive way to cook Cambodian food, as the various regions of Cambodia have their own unique culinary traditions. However, most Cambodian dishes are based around rice and a variety of spicy, salty, and sour flavourings.

Some typical ingredients used in Cambodian cooking include garlic, galangal (a root similar to ginger), bird's eye chilli, fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar. In addition to herbs and spices, many Cambodians also use coconut milk and chicken or beef broth as base ingredients. 

Cambodian cuisine is often fiery and flavorful due to the use of spices like chilli pepper and garlic. The flavours are also intensified by the use of fresh herbs such as cilantro and basil. 

Savour the Flavours of Cambodia 

Cambodia is a beautiful country with an interesting culture. If you're interested in experiencing the delicious food and culture, it's best to apply for a visa in  Cambodia Visa. The process is easy and trouble-free. You'll have everything you need to make your application, including detailed instructions and helpful videos. Once you've submitted your application, you can relax and enjoy packing for your trip to Cambodia!

READ ALSO: CAMBODIA VISA FOR MALAYSIAN CITIZENS

CONCLUSION

The food of Cambodia reflects this, with dishes that are based on the different regions of the country and reflect the cultures from which they originate. Whether you're looking for a taste of home or want to learn about one of Southeast Asia's oldest civilizations, Cambodian food will be sure to please. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Traditional Cambodian food consists of soup, a salad, fish and vegetables, completed with a fried cashew dessert. Rice, freshwater fish and fruits are typically central to all meals because of the abundance of them. 

Known for its temples and brutal civil war, Cambodia has a complicated past that has produced both some of humanity's greatest artistic achievements and deplorable deeds. 

As Cambodia has a long and diverse history, religion has been an important cultural influence. Over hundreds of years, Cambodians have developed their own unique culture and belief system that draws on the syncretism of indigenous animistic religions with Buddhism and Hinduism. 

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