Talking about Vietnam is talking about cuisine, a subject that is always very interesting for all tourists. This S-shaped country spans along on 3 regions: North, Center and South, with cultural beauties and unique colors, which cannot be confused with other places. It is the diversity that has allowed many international friends to praise and love Vietnamese cuisine.
Characteristics of Vietnamese cuisine
In fact, many famous chefs around the world have recognized that Vietnamese cuisine has a unique characteristic. It does not focus on “well done over a long time” treatment like Chinese cuisine, nor focus on decoration like Japanese cuisine. Vietnamese cuisine is mostly about subtly mixing spices to create rich dishes, which can attract even the most demanding customers.
In addition, the cuisine is not only about the delicious dishes, it also expresses the identity of each region and each country. Vietnam is a country located in the tropical monsoon climatic region with the territory divided into 3 regions: North – Center – South and with 54 ethnic groups. It is also perhaps because of characteristics such as geography, climate, culture, customs, etc. that the cuisine of this S-shaped country is also more varied.
Discover Vietnamese cuisine from three regions
After having experienced the trip to Vietnam and discovering each unique characteristic of the cuisine in each region, all visitors should recognize the interesting characteristics in the cuisine of this country:
Northern cuisine: delicate and elegant
Hanoi cuisine represents the culinary elite of the North. This place is considered the best place to keep the culinary culture of Vietnam. Consequently, from the method of preparation of the ingredients to the processing, the name of the dish is always simple and rustic, but still retains the very subtle trait of the hanoian.
Northerner’s taste is not too spicy, but rather frugal, sweet in each dish. They focus on flavors such as chili, lemongrass, pepper,… as an indispensable thing in almost all their dishes, but the amount of spice used should be enough, not too much, in order that the natural flavor of the main ingredients in the dish will not be lost. It is this “balance” created the ethereal and delicate characteristics for northern cuisine in particular and for Vietnamese cuisine in general.
If you want to spend the whole time of your vacation exploring Vietnamese food tours, especially northern cuisine, you should enjoy the following dishes: Pho, Thang rice noodle, rice noodle with kebab, rice noodle with snails, frozen meat, sticky rice nuggets, pancakes stuffed with crab, rice noodle with crab, rice noodles with tofu and shrimp sauce,… With delicious dishes above, we are sure that your experience with cooking Vietnamese will be better than ever!
Cakes and sweet soups are also very interesting dishes that you should not miss on your trip to the culinary culture of the Northern Vietnam. As you walk on the streets of Hanoi, you will come across a wide variety of cakes at the cake strollers across the streets here, especially on vacations or Tet. And these cakes relate to the childhood of many generations of people living here.
Cakes and sweet soups cannot be considered as main dishes but they give people a lot of excitement and special sensations. The typical ones are: “dracontomelon” jam, nugget cakes, green bean cakes,… When you walk in the corners of the streets of Hanoi, it is not too difficult to find a cake to offer to your loved ones.
Central cuisine: rich in all tastes
Central Vietnam is not favored by nature and often suffers from bad weather, the central region often encounters many natural disasters each year. Probably because of this, the people here always know how to appreciate and extract gifts, food sources from nature in their dishes, which have a rich taste typical of people of the Center. And tourists, once enjoying the dishes of Center, will never be able to forget the flavor.
We can clearly see that the peculiarity of the cuisine of the Center is harmony, the mixture of many spices. We often say that “the inhabitants of the Center love to eat spicy and salty dishes to fight against the biting cold of time”, it really makes sense in this case!
Talking about the cuisine of the Center, it is impossible to miss the “graceful”, sophisticated in each dish of Hue cuisine. This place is a place of the royal palaces of the ancient kings of Vietnam, so the locals value the rituals and the treatments by making dishes. For many times, visitors said that when they taste a certain flavor, they feel like being lost at the royal court.
Typical dishes of the central peoples such as: Hue rice noodles with beef, steamed rice cakes, fried pancakes, Ram meat ball, Quang noodles, Cao Lau,… Each locality has its own specialties rich in flavor and identity for the taste of each place in this country.
Southern cuisine: sweet as the people here
Having a favorable and alluvial geographic position, the cuisine of the South not only absorbs the quintessence of Vietnamese cuisine, but is also influenced by neighboring countries such as Thailand, Cambodia,… Not sophisticated like the royal cuisine of the Center, the Southern dishes bring a soft and popular but very varied trait.
Like the warm southerners, the dishes in this region are all sweet. Typical dishes such as: cakes (printed cakes, sticky rice cakes, beef cakes,…), sweet soups (Ms. Ba sweet soup, banana sweet soup), sticky rice, grilled meat ball, chicken porridge, chicken curry,…
In particular, when you have the chance to travel to the South of Vietnam and explore the cuisine of this rivery region, you must experience the specialties of the South such as: the hamster cooked with coconut water, eel cooked with lemongrass, cobra porridge cooked with green beans, coconut weevil, grilled catfish in straw, Nam Vang noodle, fondue of Western sauces,…
By savoring all these dishes, you will easily understand the unique features and the sweetness of the people of the South.
Just like that, it is enough to see that the Vietnamese cuisine is very varied, daring and rich in flavors and tastes of each region. It is also an attractive feature when traveling to Vietnam.
Where is Vietnamese cuisine currently on the world map?
Compared to the years after wars, when Vietnamese cuisine still has flaws and is not yet known, today Vietnamese dishes have a certain position on the culinary map of the world.
In a survey of more than 25,000 YouGov participants in 2018, Vietnam won the position of 15 out of 55 candidates. We can see that Vietnamese cuisine is more and more consolidated and developed on the world market.
Now, although not having enough culinary influence to compare with many famous countries in the world, but no one can deny the achievements of Vietnamese cuisine today. Vietnamese cuisine is recognized through numerous prestigious awards such as: Vietnam is ranked 13th on the map of world cuisine and even more honored during the visit of Bill Clinton,…
Many famous chefs from around the world have come to Vietnam to cultivate their culinary spirit, one name in the chefs who have come to Vietnam is Anthony Bourdain, who said that after the trip, he recognized that our country had changed his life. He had once led former President Barack Obama to eat rice noodles with kebab in Hanoi, and previously this chef had attempted to hire and promote Vietnamese cuisine voluntarily.
It is an honor for Vietnamese cuisine to be noticed and praised by friends around the world. But Vietnam still needs quality investment, promotion and absorption of the cuisine of other countries. And it won’t be long, this country will be competing on the international scene with flavors that cannot be found in any other place.
In summary, through the sharing above, we can see that Vietnamese cuisine is extremely varied and abundant from North to South. Each region has its own specialties, delicate and harmonious, so not only the Vietnamese, but also many foreigners, adore the Vietnamese culinary culture when they go to this S-shaped country.