- The Best Vietnam 10 Day Itinerary – Great Vietnam Tour Idea for You
- Best Time to Visit Vietnam & Weather each Month
- 3 Week Vietnam Itinerary – A Complete Travel Guide
Huế cuisine was created by waves of immigrants from the North, the South, and local Chăm communities. From this patchwork sprang a beautifully diverse cultural and culinary heritage that has become part of the Vietnamese ethos. Hue cuisine is divided into courtly and folk food, with a sizable portion of vegetarian recipes, owing to a high concentration of part-time and full-time vegetarians for health, cultural, and religious reasons.
In Huế, the food tends to be elaborate thanks to the influence of both courtly and folk values. The two communities work in a cycle; courtly food is uplifted versions of simple dishes, and talented royal chefs are often chosen among the people. In this region, meal is not just for sating hunger. Eating is a three-tiered experience: “eating with the mouth” is for nourishing the body, “eating with the eyes” is for enjoying the sight of beautifully-arranged and naturally-colored food, and “eating with the heart” is for relishing the joy that every meal should bring. Food must be served on small plates, not heaping ones, and even a commoner’s meal can have 10 dishes or more. In addition, food is considered as medicine, and imbalance in the human body causes illnesses. Therefore, only fresh and reasonably-priced ingredients are chosen in cooking, and the flavors must blend well together, the “hot” and the “cold” ingredients balancing each other out according to yin and yang. The final dish must be aesthetically appealing, using natural colors of the ingredients to create beautiful, and harmonized pictures. Huế lays claim to about 1,700 of the 3,000 known Vietnamese dishes. Royalty once dined on food that would boggle our minds – peacock spring rolls and phoenix meat patties. Nowadays, iconic food of the region is far more down-to-earth: bún bò Huế (beef vermicelli), cơm hến (clam rice), nem lụi (lemongrass meat skewers), and vả trộn (fig salad). This diverse mixture of cultural history, artistic expression, scientific concern, and life philosophy has certainly made Huế cuisine one of the trademarks of Central Vietnam.