Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Cambodia Eats and Drinks

Ahhh after being in 90 degree weather most of the day

Raiding temples, pretending to search for ancient treasures, and jumping around in the air to get a suitable action shot and the like sure works up an appetite. I had no idea what Cambodian food would be like, but I quickly fell for it. It had all my favorite things including a combination of sweet and sour tastes, spices, and fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, and mint.

Some of our favorites while we were there included:

Heavenly fresh banana shakes that I devoured every day

I know you're thinking, it's just a banana shake, but let me tell you, it was divine. Did you know that there are about 1,000 varieties of bananas in the world? The Southeast Asian variety is definitely different than the average American supermarket ones. They're small for one thing, about half the size of their larger American cousin, and they are super sweet.

Spicy chicken and peanut dishes

Stir-fry with licorice tasting basil

Khmer deep-fried egg salad (yes, they deep-fat fried the egg!)

Shrimp spring rolls

After this particular lunch at the Butterfly Garden restaurant, we spent a lazy while dozing a little on the chaise lounge under the shade trees. You can't see the butterflies in the photograph, but they are everywhere. The restaurant is actually inside a butterfly enclosure housing more than 1,000 butterflies.

Cambodia Travel Tip #5: Decades of war and the harsh rule of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia left a devastating impact on the livelihood of the local population. All sorts of restaurants like the Butterfly Garden Restaurant and other businesses have joined a social contract to provide training and funds for disadvantaged youth. If you're looking for a great fresh meal, why not put your money towards a program like this?

There's more food pictures to come, as we enrolled in a Cambodian cooking class one day...


Kirsten said...

I love trying local food when I travel. I am excited to read about your cooking class! That is also so neat how the restaurants can be socially responsible.

Fly Girl said...

There should be a warning about reading this post before breakfast. I don't like American bananas but I typically enjoy other varieties on my travels and that bannana shake looks heavenly.

Anil said...

The food looks excellent - I keep hearing great things about Cambodia. I'll put it on my path as I make it towards Asia for sure. Too bad it's not soon enough...

Mary and Sean said...

There is a whole list of socially responsible ones in Lonely Planet Cambodia, if you make it there!

Mary and Sean said...

Fly Girl,
I found the same little bananas here in Japan and I plan to make myself a Sat morning treat this coming weekend. You might be able to find them in a Caribbean grocery in the states

Mary and Sean said...

Go there now! Make your arrangements and don't look back. You won't be disappointed


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