We have recently received an email from our customer in Michigan, asking us about the five world records that Vietnamese culinary and what they should know about Vietnamese food in general.
Well, regarding to the news from the World Records Union (WorldKings), they recognized 5 applications for world records of Vietnamese cuisine from Vietnam since early 2020. The organization officially approved those 5 applications for world records on Aug 31st, 2020.
We got the news here in Hanoi in early days of September from local presses, they were all talking about the recognition with incredible proud words. The news about the records will be sure to help Vietnam promote its culinary values to the world. For us, it was really interesting to know!
While most of the dishes are still being updated, the records surprised many Vietnamese though the counted numbers make perfect sense! Following is the list of 05 Vietnamese cuisine’s world records:
1. The most “strand and broth” dishes in the world.
Vietnam was recognized as the country with the most “stand and broth” dishes in the world. There are 164 dishes and being continually updated. We can mention some dishes Hanoi is famous for here: Pho bo, Pho ga, Bun cha, and Bun rieu…
2. The most kinds of salted fish in the world.
Vietnam is the country which has the most kinds of salted fish and dishes made from salted fish, each with a typical flavor, in the world. There are 100 dishes like that and being continually updated, such as fish sauce, dipping sauces, and shrimp paste…
3. The most kinds of special roll in the world.
4. The most dishes make from rice flour in the world.
Vietnam has the most dishes make from rice flour in the world. There are 143 dishes and being continually updated. To name some: Ban ran, banh cuon, and banh gio…
5. The most dishes make from flowers in the world.
There are 272 dishes make from 43 different flowers in Vietnam, and the number is still being continually updated. Popular dishes made from flowers are banana flower salad, lotus flower rice, and stir-fried pumpkin flowers…
Diversity of Vietnamese Food
Beside the impressive world records mentioned above, what else should you know about Vietnamese culinary?
From the background of rice farming in the last four thousand years of civilization, Vietnamese dishes are mostly made with rice flour, rice noodles and rice papers instead of wheat, so Vietnamese foods are low in sugar and naturally gluten-free.
Traditional Vietnamese cooking features the use of fresh ingredients, reliance on fresh herbs and vegetables, and the minimal use of dairy and oil. And with the balance between fresh herbs and fresh meats, and a selective use of spices to reach a fine taste, Vietnamese food is considered one of the healthiest cuisines in the world!
Though sharing these key features, Vietnamese culinary tradition differs from region to region, from the north to the central and south Vietnam.
The cold winter and hot summer limit the growing and availability of spices in the people’s daily cooking habits. The foods in the north are therefore often less spicy than those in the central Vietnam. In general, with its four seasons climate, northern Vietnamese cuisine features the balance of the spices, and it is not bold in any particular taste – sweet, salty, spicy, bitter, or sour.
Being the cradle of Vietnamese civilization, northern Vietnam produces many the country’s signature dishes, such as Bun cha (rice noodle with grilled marinated pork), Pho ga (chicken noodle soup), Cha ca La Vong (rice noodle with grilled fish, Bun rieu, and Banh cuon. Many of them were carried to the central and southern Vietnam through Vietnamese migrations at different periods of time.
The abundance of salt and spices produced in its mountainous terrains and long coastal line make this region’s cuisine notable for its salty and spicy food, which sets it apart from the two other regions of Vietnam (foods in northern and southern Vietnamese are mostly not spicy).
Hue, the biggest city in the region, was once the capital of the last dynasty of Vietnam. Its culinary tradition features highly decorative and colorful food, reflecting the influence of ancient Vietnamese royal cuisine. The region’s cuisine is therefore notable for its sophisticated meals consisting of many complex dishes served in small portions. Fresh chili peppers and shrimp sauces are among the frequently used ingredients. Vietnamese signature dishes produced in this region are Banh khoai and Bun bo Hue.
Southern Vietnam features a warm weather and fertile soil, creating an ideal condition for growing a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and livestocks. As a result, Vietnamese foods in southern Vietnam are often vibrant and flavorful, with liberal uses of garlic, shallots, and fresh herbs.
Probably, from the Indian and Khmer influences, the preference for sweetness in southern Vietnam can also be seen through the widespread use of coconut milk in its cuisine, sugar is also added to food more than in the other regions. Vast shorelines also make seafood a natural staple for people in this region, the country best fish sauces also come from this region. Some signature seafood dishes from southern Vietnam include Banh xeo and Bun mam.
We hope this article post gives you an idea of Vietnamese food. Please contact us if you are looking for a private food tour with a real local foodie, we are good at what we are doing and looking forward to showing you around our city where great food finds you!
Like Anthony Bourdain wrote: “You don’t have to go looking for great food in Vietnam. Great food finds you. It’s everywhere. In restaurants, cafes, little storefronts, in the streets; carried in makeshift portable kitchens on yokes borne by women vendors. Your cyclo-driver will invite you to his home; your guide will want to bring you to his favorite place. Strangers will rush up and offer you a taste of something they’re proud of and think you should know about. It’s a country filled with proud cooks – and passionate eaters.”