Sunday, March 11, 2012

Culinary Delights Part 1

One of the benefits of being unemployed is that no meal is ever rushed.  Consequently eating is even more more enjoyable than it usually is.  At a restaurant you can take your time slowly reading over the menu, imagining each item before making a choice, at the market you can choose the freshest looking fruit and vegetables, at the shops you can enjoy the air con while drifting up and down the aisles and at home you can relish the process of deciding what to cook and then chopping, stirring, experimenting.  Flavours, smells and textures are savoured and appreciated to the full.  

In my time here in Phnom Penh so far I have discovered some culinary delights which must be shared:

Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit is actually a type of cactus and is full of nutrients.  It is sweet and crunchy and delicious.  It's flavour reminds me a little bit of a kiwi fruit. To my surprised relief, all those tiny little seeds don't get lodged in your teeth, always a bonus.

Iced Coffee 

This picture does absolutely no justice to the awesomeness of iced coffee 'cos I gulped it down before taking a picture.  Here's a picture of a full cup:

It's basically just black coffee with lots of ice and condensed milk and it's addictive properties go beyond the obvious abundance of sugar and caffeine. At 2000 riel (about R3,75), it's a great find!  I have never really like iced coffee until my friend Dan introduced me to the simple pleasure of a hot waffle and cold coffee on a Saturday morning.

Spring Roll Ingredients

My attempt at making a Spring Roll

While the picture above looks disturbingly like a larvae, it is in fact a spring roll, and a a delicious one at that.  The process of creating such a masterpiece goes something like this:

1. Look at all the delicious fillings (Picture 1)
2. Feel excited
3. Take 1 disc rice paper and dip in bowl of water
4. Attempt to lay soft, sticky rice paper on plate
5. Peel sticky rice paper off fingers and lay somewhat smoothly on plate
6. Put every filling available in centre of rice paper disc
7. Roll up, folding edges roughly towards the middle (Picture 2)
8. Dip in sauce while trying to catch escaping sprouts
9. Eat in one swift gulp OR
10. Try to bite and enjoy sensation of dipping sauce trickling down your arm while chicken makes one last bid for freedom.

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