Cambodia to turn local noodle soup into household name

Cambodia to turn local noodle soup into household name

Phnom Penh kuyteav is the capital's version of a popular Cambodian noodle dish. (Supplied/Khmer Times photo)
Phnom Penh kuyteav is the capital's version of a popular Cambodian noodle dish. (Supplied/Khmer Times photo)

The Cambodian Ministry of Commerce plans to make Phnom Penh kuyteav, the famous noodle dish typically eaten for breakfast, into a brand name, with the official launch for the new trademark set for March, a senior official revealed to the <i>Khmer Times</i>.

Op Rady, the director of intellectual property at the Ministry of Commerce, said the ministry was working, developing and promoting a brand name for the famous noodle dish, and it will eventually be registered a trademark, which, he says, will help further popularise the dish both at home and abroad and lure more tourists to the kingdom hoping to get a taste of the tantalising broth.

“Our plan is to promote the brand name and launch a trademark in March 8 this year,” he told the Khmer Times. “We see it as a way to boost the recipe’s popularity and attract more tourists into the country.

“We are now studying the dish to come up with an official recipe. We are also working on an official cook book,” he said, adding that once the trademark is registered, those wishing to sell the noodle soup at their premises will have to register with the ministry and cook the dish according to the official recipe.

Rady said bestowing a collective trademark upon the dish will boost the tourism industry, create jobs and make a more attractive restaurant scene.

“We are beginning work on the trademark this month and will collaborate with the Cambodia Chief Association and other relevant players of the restaurant sector in the capital.”

Rady also announced the creation of the Phnom Penh Kuyteav Association to establish standards for making the recipe and promoting the envisioned trademark.

The richly spiced noodle soup dish holds a special place in the hearts of Cambodians and can be found on almost every street corner in Phnom Penh, Rady said, noting that it is also popular outside Cambodia, with members of the Khmer diaspora enjoying the dish every day throughout Europe, North America and other parts of Asia.

Phnom Penh kuyteav will soon join the ranks of world-famous soups like Vietnam’s pho, Thailand’s somtum and Singapore’s laksa, the official said.

Hak Lina, the newly elected president of the Cambodia Restaurant Association, said the ministry’s initiative served the important purpose of promoting Khmer identity, which he says is deeply tied to the local cuisine.

“This will bolster the image of Cambodian products among Cambodians. It will also help popularise our products abroad.”

Lina said her association is fully prepared to cooperate with the ministry in this project.

Commerce Minister Pan Sorasak said his ministry is preparing the documentation needed to register kuyteav’s collective trademark with the International Trademark System, also known as the Madrid System.

“This intellectual property will enhance Phnom Penh’s image as an attractive tourism destination with fabulous food,” he said.

Din Somethearith, the president of the Cambodia Hotel Association, said he also supported the initiative.

“We are very excited that Phnom Penh kuyteav will soon be able to join pho and somtum as world-famous dishes,” he said.

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