To get my mind off of American cookies, I am turning my thoughts to Cambodian snacks.
You've heard of street food. What about highway food? The highway between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh is lined with stands selling Krolan (Bamboo Sticky Rice). It's very similar to a dish I've seen in Thailand and Malaysia. The smoke rising up from the charcoal brazier is what first caught my eye, and then I noticed what initially looked like scrolls of parchment paper in baskets on tables. No one seemed to have a very big operation, but the stands were plentiful.
Forgive me for not getting out to take a better photo. Trucks were speeding down the newly paved highway so close to the van that I was convinced I would be flattened before I could make it to the curb.
|Bamboo sticky rice stand along the highway|
A mixture of sticky glutinous rice, coconut milk and black beans is densely stuffed inside each bamboo tube with crumpled banana leaves plugging the end. Like many others, this woman cooks the rice by the side of the highway, turning the tubes so that they cook evenly. The charred bamboo lightly flavors the rice as it cooks. When they come off the grill, she hacks off the burnt outer shell leaving the light brown inner bamboo tube to hold together everything.
|Peeling back the bamboo to get to the rice.|
To eat this snack, I peeled back a strip of bamboo, almost like peeling a banana partway and discarded the leaf plug at the top. Breaking off the strip, I did as our guide suggested and used it as a makeshift spoon. It was delicious! The coconut milk gave it a slight creaminess and a hint of sweetness but didn't overpower the rice. Watch out for bamboo fibers. Believe me, they are very hard to get down your throat. Stick to the sticky rice.
After it is cooked, this snack can keep for a few days without refrigeration. That is why it was so popular for carrying out into the fields as food during harvest times. It's supposedly one of the safer street foods in Cambodia for foreigners to try. Plus, the "container" is completely biodegradable.
You can't really compare American Girl Scout cookies and Cambodian krolan, but I'm glad that I've had a chance to try both.
What's your favorite snack food at home?
That you discovered on your travels?
This post is part of the following linkups. Check them out for more around-the-world travel inspiration.
- Travel Photo Thursday on Budget Travelers Sandbox
- Friday Postcards at Walking On Travels
- Weekend Wanderlust on A Brit and a Southerner, A Southern Gypsy, Carmen's Luxury Travel, Justin + Lauren, and Outbound Adventurer
- Sunday Traveler on Chasing the Donkey, Pack Me To..., A Southern Gypsy, The Fairytale Traveler and Ice Cream & Permafrost
- Weekend Travel Inspiration on Reflections En Route, The Crowded Planet, Contented Traveler, Albom Adventures, Bay Essence, Safari 254