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Traditional Vietnamese cuisine goes international

Sunday, 03/13/2016 09:52
The greatest happiness in my life is to see the first evidence of a traditional Vietnamese dish becoming integrated into international cuisine. Vietnamese dishes are now ready to be presented on luxury party tables.

The Golden Spoon contest has been organized in many regions throughout the country and is responsible for many delicious dishes from these regions in Vietnam being discovered and retained. These have included special and unique dishes, previously thought lost for many years. Of course not all traditional/ folk dishes have been discovered. Vietnamese ancestors were very creative in cooking delicious dishes, that seem similar but with regional variations. Therefore, the further it travels the happier and prouder we are about Vietnamese cuisine.

Picture: Mr Long Thanh Chiem – An expert on traditional folk foods

Through the Golden Spoon Contest, all contestants present food from their hometown but in their talented hands these traditional dishes are presented in a modern style. They create old and new style cuisine, that represents the country as it has changed and opened to receive cultures from all over the world. They have upgraded these dishes to an international level to promote Vietnamese cuisine to the world.

Vietnamese cuisine is known for its use of vegetables, a good balance of spices, being low in fat, and neither too spicy nor too sweet. It is both delicious and fresh. Each region in Vietnam has its own unique local products. For instance, the Mekong Delta is famous for fish dishes, especially in Chau Doc with Thai sauce. Also well-known is the use of shrimp paste or baby crab sauce in Go Cong. There are also different varieties of fresh water fish, such as snakehead fish, toadfish and coral fish for example. However, the creativity of a culinary artist is in how to use these abundant natural resources, provided by Mother Earth to present beautiful and delicious dishes.

Using plants from nature, they utilise young lotus buds instead of the more traditional rice paper to wrap grilled fish. This makes the dish more delicious and creates a taste like Chinese medicine. A hotpot served with specific fish sauce and pond plants tastes even more delicious and special. Even basic fish sauce dishes become more special and interesting.

Central Vietnam is a region considered very poor and arid. However even this area has been blessed by Mother Earth with many good natural resources. It is always possible to find delicious dishes with fresh food, coming from the sea and cooked by talented chefs here. Though using the same, common seafoods, such as lobster, echinus, pipefish, squid, stone crab (Myomenippe hardwickii) etc. chefs created new dishes with new flavors. I still remember the awesome feeling I had trying “Gà Kiếng” from the Tuy Hoa, Binh Dinh, Quang Nam provinces or Hue city. This is created using a rare species of small chicken. This isn’t a common dish and only used to treat VIP guests. The meat is very fresh, sweet and has a good aroma. There is also a species of cattle from the area where it is often flooded. Its diet is plants grown in alluvial enriched soil. Therefore the beef is very special and used to cook the famous Cau Mong grilled veal.

Visiting the highland areas we can enjoy good dishes, cooked in a simply way to keep its natural taste. Food as wild as the jungle and mountains from where it comes. Cooking spices are used to preserve the original taste. Natural ingredients such as yellow ants, natural, unprocessed, large grain salt, wild pepper and a herb from the same genus as basil, named Ocimum basilicum. Ingredients such as Anh Vu fish, the same species as carp or goat and many kinds of flowers like artichokes, violets and daisies are also added for preparing appetizers or to decorate the dish. Meals that you find in highland areas are very colorful and have their own characters, reflecting the beauty of jungle and the mountains.

It is impossible to list all the specialties in Vietnamese cuisine but close your eyes and you can still remember stories, flavors and colors of your country. Talented chefs working in 4 or 5 star hotels and folk artists have joined together in this story: our country is a famous for its cuisine and Golden Spoon lifts Vietnamese cooking to another level, furthering its borders.

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The article was printed in the publication The Golden Spoons & Essence Vietnamese cuisine first season.

The Golden Spoons & Essence Vietnamese cuisine is the cuisine that specializes in books, was released in tandem with the program The Golden Spoons, including many popular dishes, many local traditions of Vietnam; portraits real chef; the share of the sincere desire to bring Vietnamese cuisine international reach ...

Publications available at bookstores system Phuong Nam and showrooms Company Minh Long I nationwide.

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