Vietnamese cuisine - a reflection of modern cuisine

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Vietnamese cuisine is reflective of the Vietnamese lifestyle from the preparation to how the food is served.Vietnamese Cuisine is unique in regards to the philosophy of which the dishes are based on as well as the taboo ingredients. Within Vietnam cooking and eating play an extremely important role in the culture as well as traditions.

In northern Vietnam, colder climate limits the production and availability of spices. As a result, the foods here are often less spicy than those in other regions. Black pepper is used in place of chiles as the most popular ingredient to produce spicy flavors. In general, Northern Vietnamese cuisine is not bold in any particular flavor:sweet, salty, spicy, bitter or sour. Most northern Vietnamese foods feature light and balanced flavors that result from subtle combinations of many different flavoring ingredients. The use of meats such as pork, beef, and chicken were relatively limited in the past. Freshwater fish, crustaceans, and mollusks, such as prawns, squids, shrimps, crabs, clams, mussels, are widely used. Many notable dishes of northern Vietnam are crab-centered. Fish sauce, soy sauce, prawn sauce and limes are among the main flavoring ingredients.

The abundance of spices produced by central Vietnam’s mountainous terrain makes this region’s cuisine notable for its spicy food, which sets it apart from the two other regions of Vietnam where foods are mostly non-spicy. Once the capital of the last dynasty of Vietnam, Hue’s culinary tradition features highly decorative and colorful food, reflecting the influence of ancient Vietnamese royal cuisine. The region’s cuisine is also notable for its sophisticated meals constituted by many complex dishes served in small portions.

The warm weather and fertile soil of southern Vietnam create an ideal condition for growing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and livestock. As a result, foods in southern Vietnam are often vibrant and flavorful with liberal uses of garlic, shallots and fresh herbs. Sugar is added to food more than in the other regions. The preference for sweetness in southern Vietnam can also be seen through the widespread use of coconut milk in southern Vietnamese cuisine. Vast shorelines make seafood a natural staple for people in this region. Southern Vietnam has also been the region where influences from foreign cuisines (Chinese, Indian, French, Thai, etc.) are most prominent

Nước Mắm (Fish Sauce) is the most commonly used and symbolic condiment in Vietnamese cooking. It is made from fermented raw fish, and is served with most of the Vietnamese dishes. Vietnamese cuisines are not known for ingredients with top quality, but rather for the very inexpensive and simple scraps that are creatively mixed together to create dishes with bold flavor. Dishes are prepared not for the look, but are served family style to bring everyone together after a long day of work.Vietnamese cuisine

To sum it up, the Southern style diet is very "green" with vegetable, fish and tropical fruits as the main ingredients. Central Vietnam is the region in which food is prepared with the strongest, boldest flavor. This region is constantly under harsh weather condition all throughout the year, so people here do not have as many green ingredients as others do in the North and South of Vietnam. Instead, the coastline around the Central Vietnam area is known for its salt and fish sauce industries, these two condiments are central to their daily diet. Northern Vietnamese cuisine has a strong Chinese influence and its iconic dish is "Phở". While rice is a staple in the Southern Vietnamese diet, the North has a preference for noodles. Due to the drastic differences in climate, lifestyles throughout the three main regions of Vietnam vary and so do their foods. Northern Vietnamese cooking is the least bold in flavor compared to the foods from Central and Southern Vietnam.

 

 

                                                                                                                                                 Article wrote by IRINA B.     

Publicat in: octombrie 2012
Etichete pentru acest articol: fish sauce, flavor, food, Vietnamese cuisine, Vietnamese people
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