Food in Angkor Wat: Look at the carvings
Those who come to Angkor Wat are impressed not only by the sheer size of the religious site, but also by the detailed stonework. In many columns, images of Apsara dancers are carved. On the other hand, stories are told in the walls, from the beginning of the world to battles and everyday life. In this way, we get a fascinating insight into the Khmer culture more than 1000 years ago. Even in a digital project, it has been attempted to design the architecture as it once looked and to awaken it with a vivacious life. But there is also a lot about food in Angkor Wat to see.
The significant period of the Khmer and Angkor Wat was during the reign of Jayavarman II who lived in the 9th century. He gilded as the founder of the Khmer Empire, the dominant war until the 15th century in the region and long considered the largest empire in the world.
Lots of stone carvings about food in Angkor Wat
Our team took the trouble to take a closer look at some of the reliefs. As a web platform, which deals with the food, of course, we were interested in corresponding stone slabs. Food has always played a major role in Angkor Wat and the realm of Jayavarman II.
Today we know only from the traditional stone slabs how this project was mastered logistically. There were whole units that only dealt with the preparation of food in Angkor Wat. It is believed that many stone works show soldiers or priests cooking for the ruler and working in the countryside.
Especially interesting are the details. On a plate in Angkor Thom you can see how to pour a rice into a pot.
This is on a small fireplace. This kind of rice cooking is still a common way today in Cambodia. Anyone visiting a Cambodian family in Siem Reap will see the same items. Another picture shows a pig being panned over a saucepan. This too is still a common practice today: only small pieces are cut and then placed in the boiling water.
Old ways of cooking Khmer food
Already in the old Khmer empire, people cooked together food in Angkor Wat and had a meal. Even then you sat on small podiums that had different purposes. On the one hand, they served as a table on which one sat and ate together. But they also served as a workplace.
Another plate shows the hunt with bow and arrow. Today, simple rifles are taken when hunting game. But after a heavy rain, men are seen wearing helmets carrying a long spit. They are looking for frogs, sitting along the roadside and along the canals. Frogs are a cheap source of protein and they are still found on Cambodian plates.
In the early years of the Khmer Empire many dishes were developed. Our hosts preserve the tradition of Cambodian cuisine and Khmer culture. What was once the food in Angkor Wat is now the common cuisine in Cambodia.
Enjoy more stone carving pictures in our gallery.