Vietnam has an excellent food culture with a great number of delicious types of food. Today, let’s look at some of the details about Vietnam food by comparing the culinary arts in all of the three regions.
1. Vietnam food in the Northern region: Elegant and sophisticated
Northern Vietnam is the region where Vietnamese ancestors resided in a very long time. Therefore, all of the food has always been carefully selected from different sources and gradually become a standard. It is not easy to change the appetite of the citizens there.
A bowl of Pho (Source: Google)
The Northern people are fond of frugal, pure, and noble food. Their favorite dishes include vegetables and freshwater seafood. A special feature which you can notice is that the food in Northern Vietnam always has a certain balance of flavors. The spices usually support one another, creating an excellent harmony of savors for the dish.
This compatibility of tastes has established an elegant and refined flavor for the food. Another thing that can easily be noticed is that the dishes in Northern Vietnam are full of colors. You can see this when joining in food tours in Hanoi City – the place where the quintessence of Northern food is completely preserved.
Some of the most prominent dishes are Pho, vermicelli and grilled chopped meat, noodles in chicken broth, Shrimp cakes, and noodles with deep-fried salt-water crabs. To observe how sophisticated the people in Northern Vietnam are, you should come to Hanoi during Tet Holiday. Traditional dishes, such as boiled chicken, Nem, Banh Chung, or bamboo shoot soup, will definitely indulge your taste buds.
2. Vietnam food in the Central region: Strong and spicy
The citizens in Central Vietnam love bold flavors such as spicy, salty, and sweet. This is an extraordinary characteristic that anyone can recognize when they travel to the region.
Cao Lau (Source: Google)
It can simply be explained that they like bold dishes. Unlike people in Northern Vietnam, most of the people prefer a simple way of life, which also applies in their culinary style, with an exception of Hue – thanks to the legacy of being Vietnam’s last imperial capital. Perhaps, this starts with their poor living standards in the old times due to the land’s vulnerability to extreme weather and climate events such as heat waves, draughts, storms, etc.
When trying some famous dishes in Central Vietnam, you can notice the simplicity in the way they are displayed. Although the food usually has a variety of colors, deep-brown and red are the two most common ones. One thing that makes the food in the Central region particular is the combination of royal and common cuisine.
The royal court cuisine tends to appreciate sophistication and complexity. Meanwhile, the common cuisine concentrates on the simplicity and sincerity. When being united, this interesting contrast creates a fantastic mixture. The two cuisines make the food in Central Vietnam extremely distinctive and exceptional.
Noodles with fermented fish sauce, Hue beef noodles, and Cao Lau are several outstanding dishes that you should definitely try.
3. Vietnam food in Southern region: Diverse and abundant
The food in Southern Vietnam has neither a long history nor strong and salty flavors. However, it is incredibly abundant and diverse.
Nam Vang Noodle Soup (Source: Google)
Because the Southern region has an ideal geographical location, the citizens have a chance to acquire the culinary way from not only other regions and countries but also different ethnic groups. Champa, Khmer, and Chinese people are some examples. Furthermore, due to the plentiful produce from nature, the citizens there have a variety of options in picking ingredients.
This can explain their generous personality and the unique flavors of the food that they make. If you have a chance to try some typical dishes, such as Fish cooked with brine or Sweet and sour fish soup, the most prominent taste that you can sense is sweetness. It is because they are often processed with sugar or coconut juice.
The Southern citizens also prefer fresh ingredients in nature. By using simple elements, they can create an exclusive taste for each dish. This is the most wonderful feature of the food in the Southern region. You can feel it when enjoying Smoked mullet, Spring rolls, or Nam Vang Noodle Soup. The final characteristic that you will see is every food in Southern Vietnam has a primary flavor.
If this flavor is sweet, the entire dish will be tremendously sugary and nutty. Similarly, if it is greasy, the dish will be buttery and full of grease. Or in case it is hot, the dish is scorching hot.