New year holidays food of Vietnam Central Highlands People
Feb 28th 2015.
Every year, the highland people often organize lots of traditional festivals and rituals such as the agricultural rites, life cycle rituals and ceremonies and many other community rituals. In those community rituals, people usually make much good food to donate Yang expressing their gratitude to gods who have sheltered and given many good things to people.
Special sticky rice of Central Highlands people
If on ordinary days, people often eat rice with vegetables available in forests such as: bép leaves, rattan shoots, bamboos… then during festivals and New year days, they replace rice by sticky rice cooked in bamboo tubes. This cooking requires more skills and sophistication. On the previous day, robust, strong young men went to the forest to cut off good bamboo trees, then cut them into separate segments, each segment contains a node at one end. Once the bamboo tube is selected, it will get sticky rice and water in; Next to the bamboo tube is clogged by a button and burned over the fire: during the cooking, keep the fire burning moderate. When coal is burned up the rice is cooked. Glutinous rice dish cooked in bamboo tubes offers a rather special taste, when eating people will feel the sweet, soft rice mixed with the smell of freshly burned bamboo.
Main food for divine offerings
During the holidays, meat, poultry is indispensable for food processing of divine offerings. One of the popular dishes and are preferred in Highland communities is barbecue. There are many different recipes: fresh meat wrapped in banana leaves and buried in hot coals or meat roasted on bamboo skewer, heated on charcoal… additionally, people reserve dried meat like buffalo meat, deer skin, boar… the dried meat dishes are also very rich from dried meat pounded eaten with salt and roasted pungent peppers and braised venison cooked with tender bamboo shoots, braised venison cooked with banana…
In cooking, the Highland people use spices, mainly salt and pepper and monosodium leaves available around the habitat. Despite simple spices, through the skillful hands of the people here, the dishes contain unique flavor, which strangely attracts visitors.
Special beverage of ethnic people
Particularly Can ethnic wine could not be missed in any traditional rituals. Its fundamental elements include cooked rice, maniac, corn mixed together and incubated with yeast kept in jars. Wine incubated in about 8.9 days in jars can be used but it is often better to unpack the jar when it is incubated for 3 weeks to a few months. When you drink, you will add fresh bamboo leaves on the mouth of the jar and plunge the straw to the bottom to feel all the sweet, spicy and aromatic wine.
For the central highland ethnic minority people, cooking lots of delicious dishes on New Year holidays, during traditional festivals has a special significance it’s the sharing, the expression of solidarity, the cohesion in the community. The dishes on New Year holidays are inseparable spiritual elements, showing the traditional beliefs, and are the connection between human beings and Gods. Therefore, food and drinks on these holidays carry spiritual meaning, so they are kept for future generations. The food of ethnic minority people has really attracted the tourists like to discover the culinary culture once they travel to Dalat – Lam Dong and Vietnam Central Highlands.
By Ha Hanh