Cambodian cuisine is closely related to the cuisines of neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam. Until the 16th century Cambodian and central Thai food was quite similar,
however the Portuguese introduction of chillie (from Brazil) to Ayuthaya lead to a divergence in national staples; the Thais developed a preference for spicier, chillie-based foods, while the Cambodians continued to use a spice paste (called ‘kroeung’), comprising of milder flavourings such as lemongrass, galangal, ginger and cardamom. Some distinctly Cambodian dishes include ‘samlor ma chou kroeung’ and ‘samlor kor ko’ soups, and the ‘chas kroeung’ stir-fry. The pungent ‘prahok’ fish stock is usually included in these dishes. Rice, of course, is eaten with most meals. In cities such as Phnom Penh there are large numbers of ethnic Chinese who have brought their own influences to the Cambodian diet. Breakfast is included each day on our tours and is usually a buffet/ continental style mix.