Over the historical course of millennia, the Vietnamese bequeathed a colossal treasure of unique gastronomy. Diverse ingredients, spices and vegetables… are all the blessing of rich nature. Generously endowed with good climate, natural conditions and demographic diversity, Vietnam boasts a quite opulent and rich cuisine that suits different segments of gourmets, except for regional palates such as spicy foods of Hue locals or sweetened foods favored by southern ones, Vietnamese foods are less oily and grease than Chinese ones, less spicy than Thai and Korean delicates, less meaty than European and American foods, and particularly healthy for the digestive system. In preparations as well as in decorations, the blending of spices is compliant with yin-yang harmony rules. Some foods are useful in treatments of diseases derived from sedentary lifestyle such as obesity, diabetes or high cholesterol…
Each city and rural region boasts some distinct specialties and culinary styles.
Northern foods are not as fatty, spicy or sweet as those in other regions. It favors diluted fish sauce, vegetables galore and highly available freshwater species such as prawns, crabs, fish and snails without excessive amount of meat and fish in daily meals… The Northern delta boasts the “Pho”, soup vermicelli, pork vermicelli and some snacks such as baby green rice or rolled cakes…along with water spinaches, eggplants and some peculiar condiments such as giant water bugs and parsleys… that have been mentioned in literature and poetry for generations.
Central cuisine is highly distinct, with more spicy foods, rich colors – in favor of red and darker colors, and strong focus on sour sauce and shredded pork sauce. In particular, royal culinary influences can be observed in Hue cuisine in which a wide variety of spicy and colorful foods are displayed in little amount on small plates.
Southern cuisine bears some resemblance to that of Cambodia and Thailand. Foods contain much sugar, coconut juice and countless dried sauce. Popular foods unique to reclamation history of the land serve as the backbone of the local cuisine: braised hamsters with coconut juice, sautéed bats and cobra cooked with green bean porridge, grilled snakehead fish… Fertile and bountiful Southern deltas provide lots of tropical fruits to diversify food choices for visitors.
Up to now, thanks to cultural exchanges and increasingly convenient transport infrastructure, regions in Vietnam not only offer their local specialties but also emerge to be a melting pot of different culinary influences from throughout the country and the world.