Skewered mongoose and other appetizing fare

Cambodians eat anything that moves, together with fish and rice - not very friendly to vegetarians.

By VIVA SARAH PRESS
March 30, 2006 18:25
1 minute read.
thai market 88

thai market 88. (photo credit: )

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

One of the best ways to get to know a country is by eating local delicacies. As a vegetarian who is allergic to fish, Cambodia was as far from gastronomical paradise as I could get. Cambodians consume anything that moves, and everything is cooked with fish. Rice is the primary staple. Bobor (rice porridge) with prahoc (fermented fish paste) is a national tradition and is eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Special bobor comes with fresh fish bits and ginger. Salad dishes are aplenty but forget the Israeli idea of fresh vegetables on a bed of lettuce leaves. Cambodian salads include beef, fish and occasionally chicken. The locals here find it wholly acceptable to eat insects, fish bladders and algae. For Khmers, tarantulas in garlic are a delicacy, rats are a basic part of rural diets, skewered mongoose is a principal provision among the Pnong people and dried hedgehog with honey is a recognized cure for stomach ailments. Not surprisingly, I lost two kilos during my three-week adventure here. I survived on fruits and cookies. Fortunately, Cambodia has many tropical fruits including bananas, pineapples, coconuts (excellent source of re-hydration), pomelos, custard apples and langdons (like lychees). In the east, I found something called Num-duang-chek which was truly delicious - banana, coconut and rice barbecued in a banana leaf. White coffee was another thing I found tasty - basically, it's black coffee with condensed milk. Rice wine is a popular staple among the minority people - it is said to be super potent. The rest of Cambodians are hearty beer drinkers. As refrigeration is scarce, locals add ice to their lager - that's right, they drink beer on the rocks. And while the menu offerings weren't especially pleasing to my taste buds, the marketplace was awesome for photography purposes. Some of the unusual fare I saw included yolks in a plastic bag, snakes in a basket and halved fish intended for easy snacking.

Related Content

El Al
August 16, 2014
The Travel Adviser: For El Al, mission accomplished

By MARK FELDMAN