"Vietnam is the land of heat and noodles"


"Vietnam is the land of heat and noodles". That is what an American friend wrote to me in an email when he said he missed Vietnam. While in English, there may be only some words "noodles", "vermicelli" or "noodle soup", in Vietnamese, we have various names "Phở, Bún, Miến, Bánh đa, Bánh canh, Mỳ" to describe our noodles. The Vietnamese noodles have different colors (white, red, yellow), shape and thickness, depending on the types and regions. Each of the said noodles has one more word next to it, like beef, chicken or other material, or name of a location to emphasize their specialty. For example, Phở gà (noodles and chicken), Phở bò (noodles and beef), Bún bò Huế (Huế city's beef noodles), Mỳ Quảng (Quảng Nam province's noodles) etc.
 
We often eat noodle soup, rice porridge, sticky rice or bread for breakfast. The major meals are lunch and dinner, when we eat rice, meat or fish, vegetables and soup. Vietnamese people love to eat freshly cooked food and mostly don't like freezing food. We go to markets to buy food on a daily basis. Women are always busy thinking about what to cook today and tomorrow for their families. 
 
Bún thang
Noodle soup with chicken, fried egg, pork and mushroom.
I found this paragraph on a website about food and wine. I agree wholeheartedly with the comment made by a foreigner, when he said about our food culture: 
 
"I loved a lot of things about Vietnam and the Vietnamese people, but what struck me most was their obsession with food, cooking and eating. I was reminded over and over again of Italy, where the same obsession obtains. Conversation with strangers doesn't revolve around discussions of the weather, but just like Italy revolves around food - what I ate today, what I'm going to eat tonight, what I'm planning to eat tomorrow. The Vietnamese are a bunch of Asian foodies." 
 
I have never eaten fast food in Vietnam. I've never cared about fast food, because Vietnamese food are so good. Sometimes I ate fast food when I traveled abroad, just because of their convenience. I also ate noodles in other countries, like Japan, Thailand and Laos, however the noodles in Vietnam are the best noodles I've eaten. 
 
The photos in this blog are my favorite food in Hanoi. When we eat them, there are also some special sauce or vegetables. Some of them are not the food that 
Bò cuộn nấm (beef and mushroom)we eat everyday at home, as our major food always is rice. However, we change our food very often by going to the restaurants or cooking them at home (but it may take more time and not so good like at the restaurants). The photos express only 30% how delicious the food could be, the remaining 70% of quality are your taste when you see them in reality.