Vietnam is a coastal country that ranges from baby blue oceans dotted with looming rock figures to lush mountains that keep watch over small cities. Just like its terrain, the food in Vietnam is extremely diverse. Vietnamese traditional cuisine has been shaped because of external cultural influences and the homeland itself.

What is Vietnamese food known for?

Vietnamese cuisine is characterized by salty and sweet flavours methodically selected to provide balance for the palate. Because of being the fifth-largest producer of rice, many of its dishes include it with much fish sauce. One of the most popular dishes is pho, a savoury soup whose noodles are made out of rice. This Vietnamese cuisine features beefy broth simmered over many hours topped with meat and leafy greens.

Bún chả is another rice noodle (also called bùn) dish topped with fatty pork balls, herbs, and dipping sauce. Vietnamese dishes are usually served all at once, so it’s not uncommon to be at a dinner table with rice, soup, green papaya salad, fruit, and spring rolls (gỏi cuốn) all at the same time!

What countries have influenced Vietnamese cuisine?

Arguably the country which has had the most influence on Vietnamese cuisine is France because of their approximately 60 years of colonization. One of the most popular dishes, bánh mì, consists of a fluffy baguette, cool vegetables such as daikon, and a multitude of meats like ground pork or pate. Other French-Vietnamese mashups include the meat-filled bánh xèo, which was influenced by crepes.

France may be the country with perhaps the most influence, but nearby Asian countries like Thailand and China have made a large impact on cuisine as well. Thai basil and Chinese five-spice are regularly used in Vietnamese traditional cuisine

What is the cultural importance of Vietnamese cuisine?

Food in Vietnam creates a story of its entire history and its principles, making it in synonymous with its culture. From certain dishes, we can see colonization from multiple countries. Additionally, Buddhist beliefs like yin and yang apply to to the taste itself. Chefs in Vietnam succeed in balancing sweet, savoury, cool, and spicy with great care.

What is special about Vietnamese food?

Traditional Vietnamese cuisine is completely different than any other country’s. Many surrounding countries like India and Thailand focus on spiciness that could light a fire. On the other hand, Vietnam makes balance mandatory for any dish. That, paired with its 58 different provinces lend to unique flavours of this jaw-dropping country.