by Pushpitha Wijesinghe in Travel / Travel Tips (submitted 2011-04-22)
Take the opportunity to learn how to cook an authentic Cambodian dish or two so that you can truly dazzle your friends and relatives with your holiday experience. It will be an experience that you and your guests will never forget.
It is a popular misconception that Cambodian cuisine is a slightly watered down version of Thai or Vietnamese cuisine. In truth, Cambodian cooking has a rich and long history and it is likely that Thai and Vietnamese gastronomy were influenced by it.
All the incidents related to the invasion of Cambodia, has fed into the local cuisine making it an interesting mixture of Indian, Chinese, French and also Thai and Vietnamese influences. Traditional Cambodian cuisine is named after the people of the country and is known as Khmer cuisine. As original recipes evolved over an era where there weren’t any chillies, Khmer cuisine can be milder than most Asian food.
As much as Cambodia is rich in history and religious sights, a recent popular attraction has been the learning of authentic Khmer cooking methods. For this purpose a number of selected institutions run Cambodian Cooking classes, catering to mainly foreign travellers who would like to wow their friends and relations back home with an unusual memento of their vacation.
The cookery classes are conducted by professional chefs who are conversant in English. Participants can choose to indulge in a full day programme or a half day programme. Whilst it is recommended that the full day programme be chosen in order to truly feel the Cambodian culinary experience, it is understood that travellers are usually under time constraints.
Each course however takes participants through the cookery class from scratch. Students are taken to the local market where instructions are given on how to choose the freshest of meats and vegetables. All ingredients are bought then and there as fresh ingredients are the heart and soul of Cambodian cuisine.
Back at the class, students are given their own individual work stations and have to follow the instructions of the chef who guides them through the preparation of the often simple meals. However even the spices used are ground then and there and for most part, it is an experience in itself to have bought the fresh ingredients and having to pound them into a paste with a mortar and pestle.
Travellers looking for a hotel in Siem Reap when visiting Cambodia, may be influenced to choose the Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor as it is a great hotel Siem Reap offers, where the infamous Cambodian cookery classes are held.
About the Author
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.
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