Vietnamese cuisine is one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. Most dishes use fresh ingredients, herbs, vegetables and minimal amounts of oil. Most dishes rely heavily upon rice, which is the nation’s staple food and they balance the five fundamental taste senses (spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet).
A large portion of Vietnam’s recipes were influenced by French cuisine, since Vietnam came under French control in 1887. An example of French influence can be seen with the “Bánh mì,” a type of baguette that is filled with savory ingredients and is made entirely of rice flour. The French also introduced milk with butter, coffee with cream, custards and cakes.
Vietnam used to be a former Chinese colony, so China still influences the cuisine. Many of its recipes adopted Confucianism and Buddhism, thus requiring the use of chopsticks and a wok. These influences paved way to the modern Vietnamese cuisine.
Vietnam’s cuisine can be broken out into the following regions.
Northern Vietnam has a colder climate, so it limits the production of spices.
Central Vietnam has mountainous terrain, making spices more available. Most meals in this region are more sophisticated and served in smaller portions.
Southern Vietnam has a more tropical vibe. Food is cooked for a shorter duration and contain a lot of fruits and vegetables which are readily available in the region.