Since coming to Cambodia my palate has adapted. Now I enjoy noodle soup for breakfast with offal & plenty of chilli. I have to eat rice at least once a day or I don't feel quite right, I LOVE Bor Bor - rice porridge.
My tooth has become sweeter - I suck condensed milk through a straw with a splash of chocolaty nutty flavoured Khmer coffee & I drink evap milk with syrup as a treat. Snacks have to involve rice, banana or bean, coconut & be deep fried.
I was feeling very jaded recently & before going on the long bus journey back home I went to the restaurant across the road from the bus station & ate rice with pork, pickles & a bowl of soup at 6 30 am & it was the best bloody hangover cure I have ever had.
I am yet to eat spiders, crickets or fertilised eggs but it is just a matter of time - I do love one year fermented rotten fish paste (Prohok) after all.
So I have adapted to the Khmer diet & tastes but can Cambodians try something from my mother palate? Where ever I am in the world I can always be found with a pot of marmite. I have an ongoing debate with my Australian friend Kristy about which yeast extract is superior - my mate Marmite or the Australian alternative Vegemite. She mistakenly believes that the bitter, saltier, foul tasting Australian version is better. On a recent visit to Cambodian, after a Facebook induced debate & stand off, Kristy bought vegemite, marmite & another generic yeast extract product with her so that we could use our old translator & his girlfriend as our judges for the ultimate taste test.
Below is a photographic record of the results of giving yeast extract to virgin palates. It would seem in Cambodia with yeast extract, you either hate it or you hate it a little bit less!
|Moments before the first tasting - Vegemite|
|Moments later - taste buds are assaulted|
|Generic yeast extract|
|Its getting all too much|
|Kristy's antipodean biased response to Marmite!|
|Struggling to be a demure Cambodian female in the face of Vegemite|
|Kristy is happy that the taste challenge has been such a success|
|Under duress the best of a bad bunch|
|The sweetest tasting one|
|Marmite to the left of me, Vegemite to the right - here I am stuck in the middle with you|