Battambang seeks UNESCO listing as creative city of gastronomy

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The Council of Ministers has nominated Battambang town as a candidate for membership in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the category of gastronomy.
Photo: Hong Menea

The Council of Ministers has nominated Battambang town as a candidate for membership in the UNESCO Creative Cities Network in the category of gastronomy.

The decision came on June 22 when Prime Minister Hun Sen approved the June 16 request made by the Ministry of Tourism.

Ken Satha, secretary of state for the Council of Ministers, announced the nomination in a letter to Minister of Tourism Thong Khon, Minister of Culture and Fine Arts Phoeurng Sackona and Battambang provincial governor Nguon Ratanak.

The tourism minister said on June 27 that this selection was based on an evaluation by an expert team who determined that Battambang town abounded with many kinds of foods and a unique cuisine worthy of sharing on the international stage.

If Battambang town were to become a member of this network, it would give Cambodia the right to use a special logo to promote the area and its gastronomic characteristics within the framework of UNESCO.

Cambodia would be able to boost tourism to the area, especially food-related tourism, which is a new trend globally that shows huge potential for Cambodia, particularly in places like Battambang town, the tourism ministry said.

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network was launched in 2004 to promote cooperation among cities which are recognised for their creativity as being a major factor in their urban development. Currently, there are 246 cities in the network around the world.

In the ASEAN region, there are four countries with cities that are members of the network currently. They include Thailand with Phuket and Chiang Mai; Indonesia with Bandung and Pekalongan; Singapore; and the Philippines with Baguio City.

Battambang governor Ratanak told The Post on June 27 that including the town as a member of the network would be a cornerstone for highlighting the diverse characteristics of the province.

He said the provincial administration had established a working group to research foods in the province to compile a list of all of the specialities that originated there.

“For example, one kind of food that originates in Battambang province – with the elderly people here creating it – is called Bok Kantouy hash (king spicy food recipe). This is a Khmer cuisine. In addition to that there is Samphos as well.

Read the full article at The Phnom Penh Post: https://www.phnompenhpost.com/national/battambang-seeks-unesco-listing-creative-city-gastronomy

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