We're a Cambodian pop-up restaurant celebrating the unique dishes of an immigrant family.
Cambodian food shares many ingredients with its Southeast Asian neighbors. But it’s the way these ingredients are used, and why, that make the cuisine special.
Cambodian cuisine is a food born of necessity. A country decimated in the 1970s by communist rule and genocide, its cuisine reflects the country’s struggles. Ingredients needed to be naturally available and preservable when nothing else was. Dried and fermented meats were gold. Pickled vegetables were imperative. Herbs played a huge part in the food because they could be secretly foraged in the jungles and used to season a simple meal of rice or stolen corn for the family.
Because families were deprived of everything, they needed to create something from nothing. Salty, sweet, sour... these flavors were luxuries, and were celebrated when they could be acquired.
All these aspects shaped current Cambodian cuisine. It's a food reflecting the struggles of survivors. A simple yet deeply nuanced cuisine. And Cambodian mamas new to their adoptive countries raised their families and expressed their love through these culinary traditions.
We celebrate you, mamas.