As the data of our current 24-hr food recall was entered by multiple people, it contains multiple entries of the same item, spelling errors and inconsistent Khmer to English translation. Therefore, before we can create a database of foods, the raw data must first be sorted through, to minimize these inconsistencies. In order to do this, our UBC team decided that I go through the data with the help of HKI staffs who were directly involved in data collection and entry. Unfortunately, Ms. Ly Sokhoing, HKI’s database manager is away on maternity leave. Hence, Mr. Hou Krouen introduced me to Ms. Sokhoing’s colleagues, Mr. Prak Sotharoth (Roth) and Ms. Eath Many (Many). Both Mr. Roth and Ms. Many kindly helped me sort through the food recall data for the next few days.
With the help of Mr. Roth and Ms. Many, I’ve managed to cut down as many inconsistencies as possible by correcting spelling errors and standardizing Khmer to English translations. Additionally, we came up with an English translation for each Khmer dish as well as its ingredients. For future reference, we also collected pictures of Cambodian-specific food items from the web such as traditional desserts and cakes.
As I was going through the food list with Mr. Roth, I noticed many similarities between Cambodian and Indonesian foods that I grew up with, in terms of ingredients and cooking method. I also noticed that this similarity is most profound when it comes to traditional desserts and cakes. This made me curious to know whether they are indeed similar in taste and presentation. When I expressed my interest in checking out some of these foods, Ms. Many and Mr. Roth generously brought me several traditional Khmer desserts and cakes to try the next day!
By: Ingrid Chandra