VIETNAMESE CUISINE – A BASIC INTRODUCTION
Vietnam is an agricultural country with a typical monsoon climate and split into three particular regions: North, Central, South. It is that geographical differences that have form culinary variations between each one, creating diversity in Vietnamese cuisine. Each respected region has its own appetite expressed in different names, ingredients, cooking technique, color, … to how to present and eat. A bowl of pho in the south usually have bean sprouts, but not in the north. Yet no matter how different the variation is, you can still taste the quintessential elements within it: light, sweet broth, soft beef and the seducing scent of aromas.
Vietnamese are curious and would value the knowledge they have yet to grasp. They are also fast and flexible learners as well. With the process of globalization, they can easily adapt the unique trait of other cuisines from Korea, Japan, China, and European countries, … combining with theirs to create new dishes, various methods of cooking that are purely Vietnamese. Take, for example, a famous Indian dish: the curry. When imported to Vietnam, they were able to make the dish less spicy yet still savory. This is an element that contributes greatly to the diversity and harmony of Vietnamese culinary culture.
Vietnamese greatly respect the harmony within their dishes. A dish must have meet two requirements equally: tasty and healthy. In order to do this, they use what Mother Nature has offered. Nutritious, healthy ingredients such as vegetables and fruit are utilized extensively, to compensate the hero of the dish, and sometimes become the main ingredient. This is quite different from western cuisine, where meat is usually used as the center of the dish. Because of that, Vietnamese food has a surprisingly low amount of fat, grease, and oil, unlike western dishes which usually use too much meat or Chinese dishes with a bit excessive use of oil. You can enjoy Vietnamese cuisine to your heart’s, or stomach’s, content without being satiated and feel even better knowing that it’s one of the healthiest cuisine out there.