I was hoping that my last post on this website would be an embittered rant against Cambodia, its malign and kleptocratic government and its local people like the last jaded hurrah of most expatriated writers as they leave Asia for richer climes. George Orwell wrote a whole book about it. Even Christopher Hitchens loves George Orwell. Coincidentally, Christopher Hitchens also wrote a whole book about that.
I can’t bring myself to do it though.
There is still too much more to write about Cambodian food and it just can’t be whittled down to one impassioned and bilious tirade. Over the past few thousand years of Cambodian food, there have only been three recipe books in English ever published on the subject and two more in French. When the global Khmer community email me for recipes for their favorite foods, I’m sorry that I haven’t covered a hundredth of Cambodia’s food and drink. Nor have I ever directly weighed in on any of the weightier issues facing Cambodia.
Thanks to everyone who commented, linked, sent me both fawning and abusive emails and asked me why I’m writing about Grape Nuts or hamburgers in Cambodia when there is something “authentic” to be eaten. Cheers to the food writers and chefs who got me started and kept encouraging me to write more widely, improve my photography and publish offline. Two years ago, I would have called you crazy if I’d been told that I could make a living out of making snide comments about trash beer and Third World food.
I started this website with a clear objective (food in Cambodia, Cambodian food) and don’t want it to become a blog about food in Cambodia and wherever else I live. So it’s an open-ended goodbye to Cambodia and Phnomenon. I’ll certainly be back and have no intention of closing the site, ever. In the meantime, I’ll be writing about food in the manner that I’ve become accustomed at The Last Appetite.