Food

The Vietnamese Cuisine

Vietnamese cooking culture has much to tell about its folk. The word Com means both rice and "o eat. There is no big difference between the two words in a country where generations of Vietnamese followed the Ho Chi Minh slogan: A Bowl Of Rice For All. In the countryside, people still use 'An Com' to say hello, but it actually means: 'Have you eaten'?
Vietnamese cooking pervades all over the Hanoi and Saigon streets, but it has a delicate flavor. Taste must not be too spicy, sweet, salty nor sweet-and-sour. The chef is primarily requested to successfully pair the contrasting ingredients. Above all, a good Yin and Yang combination is necessary, to achieve the universal balance between the two complementary and opposing forces within all facets of life.

Vietnam today

To most Westerners, Vietnam means war. We mainly think of the Americans escaping from Saigon, the current Ho Chi Minh City or the scenes from Hollywood movies. Today, Vietnam is a fast-growing country with huge tourism potential. Vietnam opened up eight years after China ‒ led by Den Xiao Ping ‒ did, but it closely follows the tumultuous and contradictory growth of the Asian giant.

The average Vietnamese's main goal is to improve his economic conditions and strive for well-being. In fact, a population of 90 million people, among which 60% are younger than 40 years of age, has given the country a great boost.



Thanks to the profound and rapid changes in the urban landscape and in the society, Vietnam has become more aware of the values of its cuisine, which is a key component of the today's tourism marketing plan. A dairy-free cuisine that boasts unique characteristics and countless local varieties. Bordering China, Laos and Cambodia, Vietnam is a 1600 Km long country ̶ 300 km longer than Italy; tastes and flavors also differ from Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, snaking down to Ho Chi Minh City, in the far South.

Yin and Yang

Yin represents Earth, feminine, dark, humidity, passiveness, while Yang symbolizes Heaven, masculine, dryness, warm, activeness. The Vietnamese try to apply the Yin-Yang theory to their cooking process in order to balance out all the ingredients; indeed, they believe balance is the key to
well-being in life. That is not an alien concept to the Western-Greek culture, since also Hippocrates asserted that disease was caused by an imbalance of the humors of the body. The difference in Asian culture is that balance also involves spiritual life, given that body and universe are interconnected.
Raw and cold foods, like vegetables and fruit, are always Yin, while wholegrain cereals, root vegetables, white meat, red meat and ripe cheese are Yang. It's no surprise that salad is mixed with chicken and shrimps together. Seafood, which is 'cold', is usually paired with ginger sauce, lemon grass sauce, lemon or chilli peppers (warm).

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