Cambodian Customs in Snack Foods
Cambodians have a dizzying array of snack foods, many of which are consumed depending on the time of day, the season of the year or as a complement to a particular beverage. Npam bpaow, or steamed dumplings made from dough filled with a mix of minced pork, turnips, eggs and chives are quite popular and are readily available from street vendors. One snack influenced by Cambodia’s colonial heritage, nom pain, or crusty baguettes filled with a choice of pate, sardines, pickled vegetables and spring onions, are easy to find on every street.
Grueng klaim, strips of dried beef usually served with pickles is a classic beer snack. Another popular happy hour snack, although not for the faint of heart, is pong dteer gowne, a duck egg containing an unhatched duckling. Said to impart strength and improve health, this very popular Khmer snack is served with salt, pepper and lots of lemon juice. It goes without saying that eating a raw, embryonic duckling (beak and feathers included) is a culturally developed taste. Our best tip to your travelers: try to avoid looking at what you are eating!
Cooked or deep fried bananas are also a popular snack. Sometimes coated in sesame seed batter and fried in oil, these are a delicious, if not a guilty pleasure for an afternoon snack.
Super sticky rice served in a bamboo tube, grolan, is a popular food taste in the countryside. Usually mixed with beans and coconut milk, this snack is filling and not an entirely unhealthy food option.
Then there are the snack food spiders. Depending on the time of year, Aping or fried spiders are considered a specialty in central Cambodia.
Wish your travelers some fun, adventuresome mood and bon appetite!
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