Asian food in general has found favour with other parts of the world. The French were in Vietnam for a century and a half and as great lovers of food, they found the cuisine to their liking. Americans spent time in the South more recently and not only liked the food, they had some influence on that part of Vietnam. There is plenty that is common throughout the country but regional differences as well.
While Chinese and Indian food were the forerunners elsewhere in the world, partly because of the migration of people, Vietnamese cuisine is now available in many parts of the world so those who book a holiday to Vietnam may well have tasted some of the favourite dishes before. During their Vietnam travel package, they will certainly taste some more.Cuisine is part of culture. Its nutritional value is obviously important but so is its presentation.
Vietnamese cooking involves little oil, and the locals consume far less red meat than in the ‘’West.’’ Rice, wheat, vegetables together with fresh herbs and spices make Vietnamese cuisine amongst the healthiest in the world. While the Vietnam use little oil in cooking, many things are stir fried and some deep fried
Perhaps there are two? Rice is central, either cooked as it is or used to make noodles. Few dishes exclude them both, whether breakfast, lunch or dinner. They may be a side dish or put into soups. The other certain element is vegetables; there are fresh vegetables all year round so locals have less use for a freezer and processed food. They can buy fresh from the market each day, and the inevitably do unless they are growing their own.
Vietnam grows a range of exotic fruits so desserts are plentiful and varied. Che, sugarcane and fruit drinks are most refreshing.
Wherever you go when you travel in Vietnam, you will also be presented with things to ‘’support’’ the meal; small plates with cucumber, beans, hot pepper, and several seasonings, fresh herbs and spices like coriander or basil.
• North. The proximity to China has had an impact on the food. Soy sauce will only be found in the North while the fish sauce for dipping will be fairly plain. Dishes will be salty and have less vegetables and herbs with black pepper commonly used instead of chilies.
• Elsewhere fish sauce is common in all cooking and when used as a dip, it will be mixed with sugar, lemon or vinegar to both weaken it and reduce the smell. The climate is generally a little warmer as you go south and therefore more varieties of vegetables can be grown, and hence consumed. The concept of ‘’sweet and sour’’ is more common despite it being a Chinese favourite as well.
A Typical Family Meal
Every time a family sits down for a meal all the dishes will come at the same time. They will usually include rice or noodles, occasionally both, soup, some meat or fish and a range of vegetables. Each family member will be given a small bowl and help themselves to the food in the centre of the table.