History of Pepper in Cambodia

The Oldest Reference to Pepper in Cambodia

In the 13th century, there was a Chinese delegation visiting Cambodia. They produced the oldest reference to pepper in Cambodia, in found in The Customs of Cambodia by Chou Ta-Kuan (Zhou Daguan – 周達観), published by The Siam Society, Bangkok, 1993, a translation from French into English.

A French version had been published in 1902 in the Bulletin de l’Ecole Française d’Extrême Orient, a translation from Chinese – a text which had been written “some time in the years before 1312 and after the return of Chou Ta-Kuan from a year’s stay in Cambodia from 1296 to 1297, the only account of Angkor at the height of its splendor” (page xi of the publication by the Siam Society.) On page 43 it says in the chapter about Products of Cambodia:

Pepper is occasionally found. It grows twisted around the stems of the rattan, fastening on like a hop vine. Pepper that is fresh and blue-green has the most savor.”

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