The Vietnamese always pride themselves on their amazingly diverse cuisine with healthy nutrition and unique flavors appealing to foreigners and locals alike. Not surprisingly, Philip Kotler, farther of modern marketing, on his coming to Vietnam in 2007 demonstrated his earnest favor for Vietnam to become the world’s kitchen.
In its slim shape, stretching along Eastern Coast, Vietnam has many regions of different natural and cultural conditions. As a result, there are said to be at least three cooking styles in the country (the North, the Central and the South), not to mention sub regions’ recipes and local specialties. Southern dishes, in general, seem to be exotic while Northern ones are more profound. Hue cuisine, on the contrary, is very refined. Most of Hue recipes take their origins from Nguyen emperor hosting every banquet of 50 dishes each meal. Over time, many of them become part of daily-citizen culture.
A recently published book on Vietnamese food has listed a maximum of 555 traditional dishes (check out http://www.vietnamfood.org/), only about 1/10 of experts’ estimation. With unbelievable abundance of fresh vegetables, herbs, fish and seafood, Vietnam has a lot to offer. It can be mentioned here a range of widely- admired dishes such as noodle served with beef or chicken( pho), spring roll, eel or snail vermicelli, crab fried with tamarind, crab sour soup, rice spaghetti, steamed rolls made of rice-flour, rice pancake folded in half (and filled with a shrimp, meat and soya bean sprouts)., etc. All are excellently prepared and reasonably priced in most traveler cafes, restaurants or street stalls.
The Vietnamese are real gastronomes. Flavoring the food to them is of vital importance. Every dish has its own additional ingredients and garnish: boiled chicken served with lime leaves and pepper salt, crab vermicelli with sweet marjoram and spring roll with fish fermented sauce added sugar, vinegar, chili and garlic, etc. These are unique yet still agreeable to western tastes and wonderfully presentable well enough to take your fancy. There is no such a delight like sitting in a cordial cafeteria somewhere in Hanoi’s Old Quarter to sip a bowl of Pho and let its flavor awake and refresh your fine tastes.
In most of Vietnam now, many things have changed: streets, buildings, fashion and so on. One thing, however, to prior agreements remains unchanged that is Vietnamese food. The real tastes of Vietnam still await for your own discovery.