Spoon and travel: good morning Vietnam!


Wandering in an Asiatic street market, between spices and dried fruits. Visiting all those places where the main ingredients of our favorite dishes are grown and manufactured. Tasting local street food. Flavors are what make a journey colorful, enriching every travel with unique sensations. I have always believed that food is the soul of a country and it tells ancient stories,becoming an important part of a country’s culture. From this reflection, it was born the idea to discover the world through flavors, one dish at a time that represents a different country, trying to connect it with Italian culinary traditions. Sometimes borders are thinner that we think, sometimes is just a matter of latitude, others is just a matter of history. But it is just astonishing how certain dishes typical of different countries represent the same essence, only modifying some of the primary ingredients.

Today we start our world – spoon journey, discovering Vietnam, a country with a vast culinary tradition. Vietnam is a farmers’ country, basically poor in which local dishes are mainly cooked with vegetables and rice, sometimes also meat and fish, including bat and cobra’s meat. There are more than 500 typical dishes, some of them with very ancient origins, demonstrating that Vietnam is a country with a large and important culinary culture. One of the most popular dishes is “canh chua ca”, a sour fish soup typical of the Mekong delta area. It has more than 30 different variations.

The main ingredients are: Mekong fish (most of all cat fish), pineapple, tomatoes, tamarind, lemongrass, herbs such as Vietnamese coriander and Thai basil, soy bean sprouts and caramelized garlic. It is a poor dish made with the basic ingredients of the delta area: vegetables and fish. The particular sour taste come from tamarind and lemongrass, sweetened by the pineapple flavor.

The preparation is as follows: put all the ingredients in a pot with a spoon of cooking oil, except pineapple, tomatoes and soy bean sprouts. Add some hot boiling water after few minutes and add also pineapple and tomatoes. After 10 minutes boiling add the soy bean sprouts. It is often served with rice, the main ingredient for all the Asiatic countries.

The Mekong delta is one of the most interesting areas to visit in Vietnam. The coast is Unesco world heritage, nature is blooming in its thousand shapes and there are some typical villages to see, like My Tho, Ben Tre and Can Tho, with their floating markets and the slow life of delta cities. Finally, to relax on gorgeous beaches Phu Quoc island is the perfect place to stay.


In the Po river delta, kitchen represents the essence of the land: basically eels, vegetables and rice. In Comacchio, one of the most popular dishes is the “eels brodetto”, usually prepared during cold months. The brodetto is cooked with eels, tomatoes, onions, vinegar and lemon. The final result is a dish characterized by a strong sour and spicy taste. It is usually served with a slice of polenta, the symbol of northern Italy culinary traditions.


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