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1.0 Local Food

In Vietnam it’s all about food. You can find it everywhere. But before you go to Vietnam, you should know something about their food!

The staple food of Vietnamese is rice. They eat it for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack. Mostly combined with fresh vegetables and fish of meat. Another significant food are noodles. Noodles eaten as soup or dry with vegetables as well. The fresh or fried spring rolls are the most famous Vietnamese dish though! 

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Fresher than fresh 

What you will notice while you’re in Vietnam, is the enormous use of fresh herbs. The Vietnamese use it to make the food very tasty and fresh. You will find fresh herbs in every dish you eat. The most common herbs are: Vietnamese mint, Thai basil leaves and long coriander. The kitchen is also known for four flavours: rice vinegar, salt, sugar and fish sauce. 

The most famous seafood dish is Cha Ca. White fish sauteed in butter with dill and spring onions. Served with rice noodles and peanuts as topping. Especially on the coast you will find a many fish dishes on the menu. 

Meat 

Besides fish, they also eat a lot of meat. Their ground meat is pork, but they use chicken and beef. They use pork mostly in dishes, such as spring rolls, banh cuon, bun cha, hamburgers and in the southern dish bo bay mon. 

They also serve for people some unusual meats, such as dog meat (thit cay or thit cho). Vietnamese think that dog meat brings luck if they consume it at the end of the lunar month. Dog meat gets less popular in the cities and more people are having them as pet. 

Another unusual animal to eat is snake (thit con ran). Vietnamese think that it improves male virility. The ritual of eating a snake is to swallow the still-beating heart.
The last thing where you need a strong stomach for is duck eggs (trung vit lon). They cook the embryo-containing duck egg and eaten only five days before hatching. 

Snake wine

It sounds maybe a little weird but it is very popular and traditional. Vietnamese believe that the wine provides positive benefits to the health of the skelet. 

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Some facts

  • Spring roll is the most popular dish of Vietnam, though they are barely seen in everyday meal - mostly in a family gathering or anniversary dinner.
  • Vietnamese people use nearly 70 kinds of herbs which are used as a very important part of the meals. Some dishes can not be perfect without herbs. Among them are lettuce, mint, coriander, apricot leaves, kaffir leaves, to name a few.
  • Vietnamese people consume the largest number of instant noodle in Asia, even more than Japan - the home country of this processed food.
  • Vietnamese people use all part of the pig to cook meals, include organs like lung, kidney, liver and heart (it does sound gross but it actually tastes ok to some and good to many). The only exception is hair. Even toes are use to make the broth. And a soup contain all the inside part (lung, kidney, liver, tripe…) are call “Pha Lau”, a very popular hot pot in the Northern mountain of Vietnam.