The spring roll, a rice paper wrap filled with vegetables, noodles and shrimp or pork, served with peanut sauce.

 

 

Vietnam

 

 

 

 

 

With rice cultivated throughout the country, it forms the core of the Vietnamese diet and is eaten with almost every meal.  It is also made into other items such as rice wine, rice vinegar, rice noodles, rice paper wrappers, rice porridge, sticky rice, and puffed rice.  Grown most heavily in the Red River delta in the north and the Mekong River delta in the south, the Vietnamese people say that their country looks like a bamboo pole with a basket of rice at each end.

 

Vietnamese cuisine was highly influenced by French colonization from the 18thto the 20thcentury.  The French baguette has been turned into a local delicacy called Banh Mi, filled with cilantro, chili-spiked, pickled carrot, and protein such as pork or sardines.

 

A staple of the Vietnamese diet is Nuoc Mam, a salty fish sauce that is added to most food. Pho stands can be found throughout the country, offering a soup consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs and chicken or beef.  A popular appetizer is the spring roll, a rice paper wrap filled with vegetables, noodles and shrimp or pork, served with peanut sauce.  In the southern part of the country, which has a more tropical climate and a longer growing season, fruit, vegetables and sugar are a common part of the diet.  Cha Tom, shrimp wrapped in sugarcane, is a popular dish.  During the cold winters in the north, it is common for families to gather around a big bowl of broth cooking vegetables and meat over a charcoal brazier, which also serves to keep the family warm.  Unripe fruit, such as green papaya or banana flower, is often the base for salads instead of greens, along with fish sauce, chili, garlic, dried shrimp and peanuts.

 





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