Usually, I am excited to go to a different place and try the local food. I love finding nuances that change from country to country, identifying them for what they are.
But on my way to Cambodia, I didn’t have idea what I would be trying. Except for random tidbits like needing to buy kampot pepper (local black pepper which is supposed to be “one of the best” as quoted from gourmands. But everything else, na-dah.
So my first taste was at a restaurant, which served pork in coconut. Another specialty, amok, looked the same, but more hyped up. We also had spring rolls from restaurants, as well as fried rice. The verdict? It is a mix of Vietnamese and Thai.
I guess this is a given since these countries are merely side by side, with Cambodia stuck in the middle. But somewhere in there, the freshness of Vietnamese cooking, and the spice of the Thai food got lost in the mix. Perhaps the invasion of new culture? And the very recent killing off of so many people? Maybe it dampened their culinary identity somewhat.
But all the same, it is quite different. Like a milder Thai. Or perhaps a creamier Viet food. 🙂