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Essence of CWTism

Essence of CWTism

By on Oct 22, 2014 in Asian, Commentary, Food, Khmer, Travel | 0 comments

As a food and travel writer I am often asked to specify my favourite national cuisine, which usually stumps me. I shift nervously, feeling an urge and obligation to cite a particular region, as though it would be a disappointment to the expectant quiz master should I fail to mention a cuisine that is at once both delicious and exotic. Is it perhaps Italian food, which has great seasonality and variety of produce? French? Whilst classic French cookery is the cornerstone of many a chef’s repertoire, it would almost be too obvious to offer in answer to such a question. Lately here in the UK, national cuisines that have taken off include Vietnamese, American (deep South), Chilean, Japanese and Korean. One hardly knows which way to point one’s precious culinary compass. So, I usually lie and say Khmer, or Cambodian as it’s otherwise known, perhaps in the hopes of appearing worldly, and stopping the quiz master in their tracks. When asked to describe Khmer cuisine, I tend to describe it as like a cross between Vietnamese, Thai and French, often featuring pork, freshwater fish, lotus root and fresh herbs, with an emphasis on rice. What the eating habits of Italians, Japanese and Cambodians have in common is the art of grazing. Lots of small dishes are eaten in slow succession, allowing for a more in-depth culinary experience. With the advent of global travel and the resultant cultural collisions, cuisines have fused and melded, and whilst the term fusion cuisine may be abhorrent to some, it is fair to say that you can often tell which nation has infiltrated another, by simple observance of their culinary influences. Culinary World Touring is a method of mapping geography and culture by cuisine, charting the gastronomic voyage with texts, image and any other means available. The truthful answer to the question of a favourite cuisine is that I don’t have one, and the beauty of being a Culinary World Tourist is having the ability to dip one’s chopsticks or cutlery into whichever regional speciality you see fit. Another question that comes up is that of a favourite destination to visit, which is equally as difficult to answer, as every destination has it’s own merits, and...

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