Northern flavors cure homesickness in Saigon

Ngày đăng: 16/05/2016 .
People from Hanoi and Saigon recognize each other as compatriots and share almost everything from their language to their customs, and most certainly their food, despite the 3,000 kilometers that separates them.

Having been in Saigon for more than 20 years, the kiosks at the end of Chu Manh Trinh (District 1), or on Tran Quoc Toan, Vo Thi Sau and Nguyen Thong Street (District 3) have almost every northern specialty in their arsenal.

Having been in Saigon for more than 20 years, the kiosks at the end of Chu Manh Trinh (District 1), Tran Quoc Toan, Vo Thi Sau and Nguyen Thong Street (District 3) have almost every northern specialty for sale.

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Food such as dried bamboo shoots, fragrant mushrooms, arrowroot noodles from Bac Kan and hundreds of specialties all find their way to Saigon, mostly by train.

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Food with a short shelf-life like tofu from the famous Mo village in Hanoi, salted pork and hand-ground squid cakes are treated with care and get here by air.

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Instant food like the sweet dessert 'che' and sticky rice also secure a seat on the planes that shuttle between the regions.

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Hanoi’s square ‘banh chung’ still reigns supreme and takes up the most space. According to shop owners, despite being brought from the capital, the price here is still not much higher than in Hanoi.

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Processed foods such as ground meat cake ‘gio’ and ‘cha’ are also easy to find for northern people living in Saigon.

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Not everything sold in these markets is exclusive to the North. Many shop owners still want their goods to be shipped from their home towns. Housewives can find all kinds of food that remind them of the scent of Hanoi here like ‘sau’ (dratoncomelon).

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Northern style pickles, sauces and pastes are available all year round.

Some shops offers the beer lovers favourite snack: banh da, the thin crunchy waffer riddle with black sesame that earns itself a part in afterwork culture.

Some shops offer the beer lovers’ favorite snack: ‘banh da’, the thin crunchy crackers riddled with black sesame seeds that has become a part of after-work culture.

Fresh lime leaves, the most important aromatic compliment to the popular boiled chicken, around the corner in the north but almost nowhere to be found in the south.

Fresh lime leaves, the most important aromatic compliment for the popular boiled chicken, found on every corner in the north but almost nowhere in the south.

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Northern fruits are also a good seller. Everything you need is within reach.

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Even if the fruit you are after is not available, a quick phone call will quickly satisfy your craving.


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