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  • Writer's pictureThe Linguistic Foodie

Khmer Angkor Cambodian ខ្មែរអង្គរ: Flavors of the Temples in every bite

If you ever find yourself at the Ithaca farmers market, check out Khmer Angkor Cambodian food. It is easily the best place there, with the longest line (but I assure you it is worth it!). Cambodian uncles and aunties prepare the food, which comes out fast and hot, piping fresh. That is how you know it is good.

THE MENU

Ok. I may have gone a little overboard here. I pretty much ordered everything off the menu. Everything looked so good! If you are a vegetarian like me, this is an excellent place, and I highly recommend the Green Amohk tofu. The tofu was flavorful, appetizing, and served with rice; it was to die for. It looked so good that when I received it, a lady in line asked me, “what is that? I want to order it!” I also tried the Banh Chèv លោក (Khmer Pancake), which tasted like nothing I have ever had before. It was like a yellow pancake with a spicy hot sauce and inside were noodles! It was incredibly tasty. I have a huge sweet tooth, and the Cheak Chhean ឈាង ឈៀន (banana fry) and the Sung Kcha ស៊ឹង កាSweet rice (it was purple!) with mango satisfied it.


Above: The mango sticky rice, Khmer pancake, and green amohk tofu.

ALL the food together

My fantastic experience trying Cambodian food not only reminded me of the famous Angkor Wat but also the Cambodian languages. The language spoken in Cambodia, Khmer (pronounced Khmai), has many dialects and varies from region to region. It uses the Khmer script, which is similar to the Thai script. The language has influence from Sanskrit due to the influence of Hinduism in the region. I was also surprised to learn that unlike its neighbors Thai, Lao, or Vietnamese, Khmer isn’t tonal. In addition to Khmer, Cambodia has around 20 endangered languages close to extinction. One such language is S’aoch, with only 10 speakers left. Read more here: https://www.voanews.com/a/cambodias-minority-languages-face-bleak-future-82250487/165301.html.


I hope that in the future, projects will be able to preserve and revitalize these languages, as these languages are what preserve the cultures and stories of the Cambodian people.


លាហើយ! Leahaey!


-The linguistic foodie :)






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