In Cambodia, a foodie’s choice: Fried bugs in the night market or a cooking class

The tuk-tuk rattled over a rough dirt road, jarring my bones, finally stopping when the road turned and seemed to disappear near a stream. The driver motioned for me to climb out. I hesitated. I had signed up to take a cooking class in the Cambodian countryside near Siem Reap, but this was not what I expected.

Behind us were modest homes, but bordering the dirt lot ahead were stone ruins, partly obscured by trees and shrubs. Nearby were rice paddies and what looked like a garden of colorful miniature temples sprouting from a pasture. A few scrawny white cattle grazed nearby.

Where was the kitchen?

“I like to tell people about the village before we cook,” a slight young woman said as she stepped into the dirt clearing. She nodded her thanks to the tuk-tuk driver, then turned to me. “Come, let’s walk. You are my only student tonight.”

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