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Food & Drinks
A fresh Vietnamese salad with rice crackers. Photo by Aaron Joel Santos
If there is one characteristic that unites Vietnamese food, it’s the freshness of it all. Pass by any Vietnamese market, you'll be amazed by the abundance of the sea and soil. Plucked the same morning, these feathery herbs, plump vegetables and flapping-fresh proteins are just waiting for a skillful cook to transform them into something magical. Freshness is where the fun begins. These beautiful ingredients are enhanced by aromatic herbs, and Vietnamese cooks know how to combine contrasting textures for maximum punch and crunch. Simply put, it's one of the world’s healthiest and most mouthwatering cuisines.
Travel around the country, and you'll find that tastes and dishes vary from North to South. In the capital, locals may lunch on bún chảwith slices of pork belly, while the Saigonese wolf down bánh xèo (crispy pancakes) rolled with greens and dipped in sweet-and-sour fish sauce. In the former Imperial City, meaty bún bò Huếis a breakfast favourite, while in Hội An, you can’t beat a bowl of toothsome cao lầu noodles for a quick snack. From simple home cooking to addictive street eats to modern Vietnamese dining, it would take a lifetime to eat your way through all this delicious diversity.