Vietnamese Food Culture and History
You have probably heard a lot about Vietnamese food but have you ever spent time understanding deep down this diverse cuisine arts? What is Vietnam’s unique history and culture?
Rice – The Main Food
Originally an agricultural country, living style and eating habits of this Asian country is also strongly influenced; therefore rice is considered the typical food for wet tropical Vietnam. Dated back from Hung King dynasty a long time ago, rice cake had been worshiped as the gift of Mother Nature of which “Banh chung” shapes square to reflect the Earth’s shape and “Banh day” symbolizes the round sky. Not just rice but in Vietnam there are other traditional dishes made from the jewel including noodle (pho), steam rice cake (banh cuon), and porridge (chao).
Common Bowls in Meals
It can be strange to foreigners who usually enjoy meals in separate bowls. In Vietnam, people also have their own bowls but there are still some common dishes where they can get food there including soups, vegetable and main courses.
One typical dish called fish sauce that will be definitely shown up in the middle of food plates. No matter what others say, fish sauce still plays an important role in contributing to Vietnamese culture because animal breeding was not developed from the old days so farmers had to find a way to store fish and shrimp in special methods so they could use for a long period of days. There are a wide range of different sauces now but fish sauce is an irreplaceable dish.
Chopsticks might be the biggest difference between Western countries and Vietnam where only kids under 5 years old use spoons to pick up food. Let me explain: a pair of chopsticks includes 2 circular bars made from wood, bamboo or metal and users will have to skillfully hold the bar, open them in the right way to lift everything up. For first-time users it must be a challenge as it really needs comprehensive proficiency and time practicing as well.
Meals in the Day
Westerners see breakfast as the most vital meal , but dinner is the main meal of Vietnamese. Schools and work often start early so in the morning, locals don’t have enough time to cook and have breakfast at home but they will buy snacks on the way to save time and then prepare dinner for all family members to gather. Take some notes about meal time here: breakfast is usually served before 9:00, lunch not enjoyed after 13:00 and no later than 21:00 for dinner.
Other notes: For those who are interested in typical Asian food culture, just come to Vietnam as the procedures now are much easier. Entering the country is already hassle free thanks to 2 ways available for obtaining a Vietnam visa: to obtain via the Vietnam embassies or obtain a visa on arrival.