In Vietnam, the food of each region (North – Central – South) owns different characteristics and has various cooking methods, which is a great contributor to the diversity of Vietnamese cuisine.
Unique points of Food in the North Vietnam
The North was the residence of Vietnamese ancestors long time ago; therefore, many traditional cultures and standards in eating and clothing have been established for many years. People living in the North usually choose the food containing frugal and a bit sour flavour. Favourite dishes of the local people include phở, bún thang (soup with shredded chicken meat, shredded fried egg, shredded steam pork cake and vegetables), bún chả (grilled pork and noodle), bánh tôm (shrimp cake), thịt đông (aspic), xôi cốm vòng (sticky rice with cốm), chả giò (minced pork sausage), and so on.
In addition to traditional food on Tet holiday, the North is famous for the food between meals. These foods are not served in the three main meals in the day but many people are excited about them. And a special point is the food like mứt (murabba) made from fruits and cốm cake made from rice and mung bean keep unforgettable memories during the childhood of almost all the Northern people.
Food in Central Vietnam with the boldest flavors
The Central region is the exhausted land and not endowed with advantages of natural conditions like other areas. As a result, the local people always high appreciate their available products and turn them into the dishes with distinctive flavor making a deep impression on those who have an occasion to enjoy them. Normally, Central food include much spicy taste but less sweetness than food in the South. A typical example is Hue people, food always is created by various tastes, especially sourness and spiciness, for example, mắm cà (solanum macrocarpon sauce) and mắm tôm (shrimp paste). Outstanding dishes carrying Central characteristics are bún bò Huế (soup containing rice vermicelli and beef), bánh bèo (water fern cake), bánh xèo (sizzling cake), chả ram, bún cá (vermicelli fish soup)and bánh tráng thịt luộc (rice paper wrappers with boiled meat).
Diversity of Food in the South Vietnam
It is said that cooking way express people’s characteristics. Indeed, different from the North or the Central, cuisine of this region is simple and not fussy. These traits of the food have similarities with the local people’s features. Coconut water are often added to the food, making the South’s food having much sweet taste. Some foods like grilled sausage, chicken congee; types of cakes like In cake, Men cake, Bò cake; kinds of chè (sweet beverage or dessert soup) involving chè kiếm and chè chuối contain coconut water or cốm dừa (sweet rice flakes with coconut shreds), helping increasing greasy and sweet taste.
These distinctive features of local region significantly contribute forming the diversity of Vietnamese cuisine. That is the reason why Vietnamese food draws the attention of a considerable number of international tourists. Despite some differences, food of these regions still have quite a few similarities of structures of meals, cooking methods for types of food such as soup, sauce, additives, vegetables, and so on.