Vietnamese cuisine

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Food presents at the very centre of Vietnamese culture: food plays an important role in every significant holiday on the Vietnamese cultural calendar, all the important milestones in a Vietnamese person's life, and indeed, most of the important day-to-day social events and interactions.

Vietnamese food always uses a lot of vegetables (boiled, fried, pickled, and raw). Sometimes vegetables are cooked with beef, fish, chicken, etc to produce a mixed dish of veggie and meat. Almost all meals in all regions of Vietnam, you will see at least a type of veggie on the table. It is therefore very healthy.   

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It also features the mixture of ingredients which are not too spicy, sweet or fatty. Additional material (spices) to Vietnamese cooking is very rich, including many aromatic herbs (basil, marjoram, onion, etc); vegetable spices (pepper, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, ginger); fermented condiments (shrimp sauce, wine, vinegar, etc).

Another special feature of Vietnamese cuisine which is different from the other countries, especially in Western is the usage of "sauces" and chopsticks. Fish sauce is used often in Vietnamese cuisine which makes the dishes tastier. Some tourists may not be able to taste it on the first day, but they will get used to it along the tours and finally love to food cooked with it. While the usage of chopsticks is symbol of unity and the close-knit community of Vietnamese, it may also be quite challenging for tourists.

Vietnamese territory is divided into three distinct regions: North, Central and South. The main characteristics of geography, cultures, ethnicities, climate regulations etc specify characteristics of cuisine of each region which contributes to the richness and diversity of Vietnamese cuisine.

Northern Cuisine is often not spicy, fatty, and sweet as in other regions. It features and uses a variety of vegetable dishes and fresh seafood readily available, such as shrimp, crabs, fish, clams, mussels, etc. Many people appreciate that Cuisine in Hanoi is the most typical culinary of North Vietnam with the pho, bun thang, bun cha, etc.

Central food with all its unique characteristics is expressed through a distinct flavor: more spicy and savory than cuisine in the North and South which is mixed colorfully and brilliantly. Central provinces such as Hue, Da Nang, Binh Dinh is famous for shrimp sauce and sour sauce procession. In particular, due to the impact from the royal cuisine, Hue cuisine is very complicated in processing and presentation.

Southern cuisine is influenced by cuisine of China, Cambodia and Thailand. Thus it is characterized by often adding sugar or use of coconut milk for main dishes. The Mekong region often cooks fish with veggie and fruits, making a special flavor and taste.  

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