1. MUST-TRY DISHES IN VIETNAM
Along with the breath-taking landscapes and valuable heritage sites, the cuisine is a distinctive feature of Vietnam. Followings are some distinctive delicacies of Vietnam that visitors should try.
Obviously, no one can ignore that famous dish when visiting Vietnam. “Pho” has been widely known as Vietnamese specialty. There are many of kinds of “Pho”, depending on which ingredients are added into. Travelers can find “Pho” anywhere, from street vendors to luxury restaurants. Just a small tip, the ones where locals gather the most are the places to sit down and take a try.
The three most famous regions for “Pho” and “Bun” are Hanoi, Nam Dinh, Hue, and Saigon. The dishes from these places have different tastes, which will leave the customers in awe!
This is absolutely a must-eat dish when taking a Vietnam street food tour. “Bun Cha” is the Vietnamese name of “grilled pork”, which contains two types of meat: minced pork patties and strips of meat. They are soaked into dipping soup made from fish sauce, lemon juice, garlic, and chilies. You can dress it up by adding whatever you want. There are also rice vermicelli and fresh herbs. The best way to eat is to dip all these things into the soup and take a full mouth of it. You can order some more spring rolls to make the dish better.
“Bun Cha” is even more delicious when you eat at restaurants along the streets. Do not try to find a luxury restaurant, just stop where you can smell the smoky hazes from the grilling. The place with the best “Bun Cha” is Hanoi Old Quarter, where you can get a heavenly tasty dish with a reasonable price.
“Banh Cuon” is popular as a dish for breakfast and a midday snack. The dish is made of an exceptionally thin rolled rice sheet, filled with minced mushroom and ground pork meat. Fried onion and cilantro are added as toppings. Dipping it into light fish sauce can make it much tastier.
“Banh Cuon” restaurants are easily found in every street or market in different parts of the country. Find where steams are coming up to get the fresh and hot dish, as the chefs usually make it right in front of the restaurants.
Voted as one of the most delicious sandwiches in the world, “Banh Mi” is absolutely a cannot-miss dish for Vietnam Food Tour.
“Banh Mi” first appeared during the French colonization. The French people made baguette and sandwiches for their own uses, then the Vietnamese created a new variant. It is a cluster of traditional and Western culture. “Banh Mi” is actually the baguette combined with pork, pate, and various vegetables. These things are put together, then creating a great flavor.
Each region has its variant of Banh Mi. The two most famous ones are “Banh Mi Ha Noi” and “Banh Mi Hoi An”. In addition to the distinct flavor in each region, travelers can also vary their “banh mi” by adding different toppings. I’m sure that you cannot stand yourself from eating once you have tried it.
“Banh Xeo” is a crispy cake made of rice flour, coconut milk, and turmeric. The cake is pan-fried with several ingredients such as pork slices, shrimps, sliced onions, bean sprouts, and mushrooms. The best taste can be achieved when you eat it with lettuce, herbs and sweet fermented peanut butter sauce. Sometimes people use rice paper to wrap “banh xeo” and all other additional ingredients to make it easier to eat. (http://armstrongpharmacy.com) It is absolutely a great appetizer that visitors should try when having food tours in Vietnam.
“Xoi Xeo” is a mouth-watering street food that can be easily found in outdoor markets. The dish includes sticky rice and toppings of fried onion and “mung” bean. There are also other ingredients you can add to your dish such as “Cha Lua”, steamed chicken, “ruoc” – smashed and fried salted pork, eggs, and pork belly. It is not only a dish to eat at the restaurant but travelers can also take it away for their long journey.
Almost every region has “Xoi Xeo”. It is a popular breakfast for all ages, hence the price is very cheap. You can buy one with only 5,000 VND. For the dishes with more toppings and ingredients, it may cost you about 15,000 – 25,000 VND. So cheap for a good dish, right?
2. VIETNAM SPECIALTIES AND PRODUCTS.
In addition to the unique cuisine, Vietnam is also well-known as a country with lots of specialties and export products. Followings are some outstanding products of the S-shaped country.
Vietnam is an agricultural country with more than 70% of its people making their living by growing rice. The Red River Delta in the North and the Mekong Delta in the South is considered the two rice baskets placed at two ends of a pole. Not only growing rice for daily uses, Vietnamese farmers also export rice to other countries. Following Thailand, Vietnam is the 2nd largest rice-exporting country in the world.
First introduced by the French in 1857, the coffee industry has increasingly developed and become a major economic product in Vietnam. Vietnam is the second largest producer in the world after Brazil, and most of the coffee comes from the plantations in Highland regions of Central Vietnam. Vietnamese coffee are renowned for its high-end quality. Two most famous brands of Vietnamese coffee are Trung Nguyen Coffee and VinaCafe.
Vietnam is the World’s largest producer and exporter of peppers. Introduced by the French in the 17th century, pepper trees have now been planted in large scale in the South, especially in Central Highland provinces. Phu Quoc Island is another famous plantation of black pepper. Pepper is regarded as the “King of Spices” and used in daily dishes worldwide.
Northern Vietnam is home to the famous brand of tea: Thai Nguyen Tea. Enormous tea plantations are found in the northwest regions, mostly concentrating in Thai Nguyen and Moc Chau. Not only do tea plantations bring about a high volume of products, these are also interesting tourist attractions.
Seafood industry plays an important role in Vietnam’s economy. Fisheries exports account for a large proportion of the overall revenue. The main markets of Vietnam fish are the United States and Western countries.
Textile is a key economic sector of Vietnam. Though a small country, Vietnam is a big player in the textile industry. This sector provides jobs to more than 2 million employees. As Vietnam’s labor is very cheap, the textile products are also affordable, thus enabling the industry to gradually continue even in the struggling economic situation.