16/09/2013 | 12:49:06

How Vietnam attracts as the "kitchen" of the world

"Pho" has also been the Vietnamese food most mentioned by the people who have been to Vietnam (Source: Internet)

In Vietnam, every locality has its own specialties. The country strives to introduce its diversified and special cuisine to the world to attract travelers. At table with the VietNamNet Bridge.

A common courtesy statement Vietnamese usually hear from the South Korean actors when they visit Vietnam is "I love pho (noodle soup served with beef or chicken, a Vietnamese traditional dish)".

In the United States and Europe, "pho" has also been the Vietnamese food most mentioned by the people who have been to Vietnam. Only in recent years have the western tourism publications added "nem" (spring rolls) and "banh mi" (bread) into the list of the Vietnamese popular food.

Meanwhile, Vietnam not only has "pho" to introduce to the world.

However, the limited knowledge of foreign travelers about Vietnamese cuisine shows Vietnam’s shortcomings in popularising its specialties.

In Vietnam, every locality, from the north to the central region or the south, has its specialties. Different personalities of local people and different ways of processing allow creating different dishes.

The local residents in coastal provinces use the common material – seafood – for their dishes, but the food tastes differently. Quang Ninh province has been well known for "cha muc" (fried minced cuttlefish), while Hai Phong City people make "nom sua do" (sweet and sour salad with jellyfish) very well.

While Nha Trang City has wonderful dried cuttlefish, Ho Chi Minh City has been famous for sea snails.

The most outstanding feature of the Vietnamese cuisine is that it has two culinary centres with quite different styles, namely Hanoi as the representative of the northern delta, and Hue City – the land of the royal style.

Besides, Vietnam also has the so called "hybrid food style" – or the "street food", which travelers can taste at all the noisy tourist centres like Hanoi, Quang Ninh, Hai Phong in the north, Nha Trang, Da Nang in the central region, or Ho Chi Minh City in the south.

What should Vietnam introduce to the world? "Pho" has been popularised for a long time that it has been automatically considered the Vietnamese traditional food. However, this may not be true when people are not in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City.

Therefore, it would be a difficulty for tour guides to talk about the local traditional dishes when they lead tourists to Da Nang City or Khanh Hoa, where "pho" is not the local specialty.

A tourism expert has noted that the tourism promotion campaigns with the focus on popularising "pho" has led to the inaccurate understanding of travelers about the Vietnamese cuisine. Travelers may think that "pho" is typical for the Vietnamese cuisine, and "pho" is everything Vietnam has.

Meanwhile, other special dishes still have not been introduced to travelers.

Hue City, the ancient royal capital, also has many good dishes to offer, from the main courses to desserts, from royal to popular dishes. The culinary art of Hue food is always part of the tours to the city as a cultural value worth of being discovered by tourists.

However, Hue still has not found a dish most typical for the city which it should focus on when running advertisement campaigns.

Nguyen Cong Hoan, Deputy Director of Hanoi Redtour, complained that the firm can only introduce local specialties to small inbound groups of tourists as the infrastructure conditions are not good enough to receive big groups of travelers.-VNA

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