Growing up in America, I have always been accustom to forks. Most the time, I just ate with a fork; sometimes I would use a knife when I needed to cut my meat or put butter on my piece of toast and mainly my spoon was for soups. Coming to Cambodia my mind was blown, and it was tough to get use to, everyone eats with a spoon.
I remember my first couple of nights with my training host family. They gave me a fork and a spoon. I would forget and I would use the fork while everyone at the dinner table starred at me. Finally my training host sister told me to watch her and showed me how to use the fork and spoon method properly here in Cambodia. The spoon is used as the main utensil. The fork is used to shovel the rice onto the spoon. When there is meat, the fork holds the meat while the spoon scraps the meat off the bone. Sometimes people just use spoons and they do not have a fork. Its a skill the people here have set and I am still trying to master it.
Also, something else I am trying to get use to, and it is an Asian utensil, is the use of chopsticks. For some reason my fingers/ hand do not coordinate well when it comes to using chopsticks. Many soups here, when noodles are involved, chopsticks are often used and lets just say ‘I am still learning.’ Every time we eat food that chopsticks are needed for, my host sister helps me out and shows me the correct way. People are really talented when it comes to “the ways of eating” her in Cambodia. After two years I will be an expert!
For Christmas, my family from America sent me a package with goodies. Inside that package I was blessed with chopsticks for beginners! I was very happy when I saw them and immediately showed my host family. An elephant is on the top of my chopsticks holding the two sticks together, making it easy for me to use. My host family kept telling me that the elephant will help you eat Cambodian food.
Well Wish me luck with my eating skills, or I will go hungry
Until Next time, One Love.