Food culture is a natural culture formed in human life long time ago. Especially in Vietnam, cuisine is not only the material culture but also the spiritual culture. Through cuisine people can understand the culture showing up human dignity, cultural level of the people with the morals, manners and customs of eating…
Culture of Vietnamese cuisine is known for characteristics such as: sociability, diversity, low in fat; strong in flavor with the combination of variety spices to increase flavor and attractiveness of the dish. Eating in a table, sharing the food, using chopsticks and particularly rice – the first and main course – are general and indispensable traditions of the whole Vietnamese people.
Besides those common features, each region in Vietnam has its own cuisine features:
The cuisine in the North of Vietnam
The dish tastes just right, It is not too strong but always decorated with bright colors. The dish is not strong with flavors such as: spicy, fatty, and sweet. The North people mostly use dilute fish sauce and shrimp paste. Hanoi food is considered to the essence of northern cuisine with delicious dishes like: pho (a kind of rice noodle), bun thang (a kind of rice noodle), bun cha (a kind of rice noodle), bun oc (a kind of rice noodle), Vong village rice cake, Thanh Tri rolling rice paper, and unique spices like belostomatidae oil and Lang basil.
The cuisine in the Middle of Vietnam
The people in the Middle of Vietnam love to eat strong-tasting and more tasty foods. Personality characteristics are reflected in special flavor, they have a lot of spicy foods, more than the North and South of Vietnam. Colors are mix rich and brilliant; they are mostly red and brown color. The Middle cuisine is famous with sour shrimp sauce, a lot of shrimp sauce types. Imperial court cuisine with Hue royal food is not only very spicy and very colorful, but also focusing on the number of dishes and decoration styles.
The cuisine in the South of Vietnam
Because it is influenced by Chinese cuisine, Cambodia cuisine and Thailand cuisine, so the Southerner dishes are quite sweet and spicy. They are very popular with a lot kinds of dried fishes as: sac dried fish, prahok, Ba Khia dried fish … There are rustic and unique dishes such as: voles meat cook with coconut water, steamed flying fox and tofu, land cobra cook with green bean and rice soup, duong dua, duong dat or duong cha la, vop chong, fish is grilled in rice thatch…
The cuisine of ethnic minorities in Vietnam
Vietnam has about 54 different ethnic minority groups. The cuisine of each ethnic minority has its separate identity. Some specialties are very famous as: bacon mix with animal viscera ethnic minorities in Central Highlands, egg rice rolls (Cao Bang, Lang Son), cong phu cake of Tay people, Pork from young pig and roasted duck with honey, khau nhuc Lang Son, sour rice noodle soup, bee larvae rice soup, con sui rice noodle, thang co, steamed sticky rice of Thai people, Phu Tho Thanh Son sour meat…
The cuisine reflect the spirit culture of Vietnamese
The spiritual culture of the Vietnamese people in cuisine is an expression of the cultural beauty of communication; it is the behavior between people in the meal to please each other through gentlemanly and well – educated behaviors. The eating always has separate rules and practices, from person to the family and the social relationships.
We ourselves have to carefully keep up our cautious while eating, as well as promoting our honor: “look at the pot when eating, look at the direction when sitting” or “chewing when eating, thinking when speaking”.
In the family
When all members of the family sit together in a table, people have to give priority for older people and young children. “Respect older people and budge young children” expressing the respect and affection. Daily meal is considered to the meal of family reunion, people gather together, happy together, talking together after a working hard day.
In the society
The inviting friends and guests come to our house for dining together expressing the culture between people in society. When the family has special occasion for party, the homeowner often cook a lot of delicious dishes to entertain them. The homeowner often invite guests by taking food for guests, he do not stop eating before the guest, but he give an invitation to his guests for eating more when they stop eating. A party with guest is not merely entertainment but also express the typical hospitality heart of the Vietnamese.