My Vietnam Intrepid Food Aventure
Vietnam had been at the top of my list of places to visit for a while, and a few summers ago I finally made it there. I travelled on a food tour with Intrepid Travel, eating my way from north to south Vietnam, and I have to say it is one of the best travel and food experiences I’ve ever had.
As soon as we’d checked into our hotel we ventured out onto the busy streets of Hanoi in search of a good eat. Off the main streets you will find little street food alleys, serving food at all hours. At all times of the day, you see families gathered around tiny plastic tables, sitting on tiny plastic chairs only inches off the ground, eating a meal together. It becomes very apparent that eating together around a table is very important in Vietnamese culture.
With a large focus on fresh herbs, vegetables and rice, their diet is inherently healthy, and largely gluten and dairy free too. You will find these ingredients, along with fish sauce at almost every meal.
In general, northern Vietnamese food is more subtle and less spicy than in other regions. Rice noodles are the main part of many dishes, and meat is often barbequed over open flames. North Vietnam borders China, and the food reflects this – a lot of the dishes were Chinese influenced. On the other hand, south Vietnam borders Cambodia and the food and weather is more tropical. Mangoes, pineapple, coconuts and bananas are sold and eaten everywhere, and even in their ‘winter’ we were sweating and fighting off mozzies in humidity.
To the right are a few Vietnamese inspired recipes that I picked up on my travels – I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!
To be doing what I am today is a dream come true. It all started when I was 12 years old. I was watching TV after school one day and Jamie Oliver was cooking up a storm on The Naked Chef.