Vietnamese cuisine reflects its geography and history. Unlike any other Indochinese nation, Vietnam is the only country where Chinese culture remain strong. With historical influences from China and India, you’ll find striking regional cuisine variations ranging from north to south; yet, no matter where about the country you are 2 key dishes are especially all-pervasive: rice and noodles. The Vietnamese are noodle-crazy. Noodles are eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner- in homes, restaurants and roadside stands. The Vietnamese will be satisfied with a full week of simply noodles. Thin noodles, vermicelli noodles, rice noodles, deep-fried egg noodles served with broth, herbs, vegetables, chilies, and meat.
As climate varies significantly from north to south, so do the dishes. Northern cuisines contain fewer herbs and vegetables than other regions due to colder climate conditions. Warm southern cuisines are sweeter, spicier, and contain more herb variety. Servings are larger and fewer in the south. Hot chilies replace black pepper for heat. Fruit abundance in the area means sweet fruit will find its way into a dish of meat and vegetables. Central Vietnam is slightly different in their tradition of many small dishes as opposed to large portions. I have a personal affinity for cuisines in the south but it’s truly a matter of taste and preference. Mmm.. hungry.- tnoely