Posted by: Simon & Becci | September 10, 2011

A tale of two herbs

The joy of coriander

Those of you who know Becci and I well will know that much of our cooking includes one essential ingredient – fresh coriander. This is vital to many of our favourite dishes as learned from Becci’s Mum Yolanda, who has proven herself an expert in sourcing bunches of this marvellous herb in whichever nation of the world she and Tony have lived in.

We’d like to take this opportunity to salute her ability to do this in a range of languages and local markets worldwide. Finding it is far easier said than done! We spent several weeks hunting unsuccessfully and had nearly given up hope of eating Moroccan meatballs, cous cous or tagine until finally and joyously “wan soy” (the name for coriander in Khmer) was found! This was the cause for much celebration in the Brown household as the picture illustrates.

Looking out at the beach

A week ago we discovered that another herb is somewhat easier to find in Cambodia. We decided to have a few days away from Phnom Penh to see a little bit of the rest of the country. Thus we boarded a bus and undertook a 4 hour trip to the coastal resort town of Sihanoukville, accompanied by a DVD of the “best” comedy Cambodia has to offer (see  for an example – bizarre painted moustaches and wigs on the men are a feature in all such programmes).

Pizza with extra "happy"

We enjoyed a restful time away – some of the beaches are beautiful – including eating out in various restaurants. When selecting where to eat one day we saw a place called “Happy Herb Pizza” which I thought sounded cheerful until Becci pointed out what the “happy herb” in question was! After that we saw numerous places where you could “add happy” to your meal, as easily as you might add pepperoni or extra cheese. I’ve never seen drugs on offer quite so blatantly, and it was sad to see how this and other vices were so readily available.

We’d much rather have coriander.



  1. Hopefully people will not need the “happy herb” when they encounter the Holy Spirit!

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