Vietnamese cuisine is not only distinctive but also odd and strange to any taster. But it’s well worth a try if you dare and have so strong stomach.
Dog meat is consumed in Vietnam to varying degrees of acceptability, though it predominantly exists in the North. It’s a winter food which believed to keep you extraordinarily warm on cold nights. Dog meat is eaten in a variety of ways, from grilled, stuffed in spring rolls, stir fried, to added to soups. There are multiple dishes featuring dog meat, and they often include the head, feet as well as internal organs. Dog meat restaurants can be found throughout the country. If you are in Hanoi and you are eager to try this dish, please come to a restaurant on Nhat Tan Street – Tay Ho District. Typically, a chef will choose one of seven ways to cook dog, collectively known as “cầy tơ 7 món“. You can choose steamed dog meat, dog sausage, steamed dog in shrimp paste, ginger and rice vinegar, grilled dog meat, bamboo shoots and dog bone marrow or fried dog in lemon grass and chili. Here, you can see groups of customers who seated on mats spending their evenings on sharing plates of dog meat and drinking alcohol.
Dog meat is supposed to raise the libido and sometimes considered unsuitable for women. In other words, eating dog meat can serve as a male bonding exercise. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon for women to eat dog meat. The consumption of dog meat can be part of a ritual life which usually occurring in the end of the lunar month for reasons of astrology and luck. Restaurants which mainly exist to serve dog meat may only open for the last half of the lunar month.
Snakes are a common novelty and relished food. You can drink the wine as well as eat the flesh on several occasions. When I visit one of my Vietnamese friends, he caught a cobra outside his front door and shared it with me on evening. Actually, there is very little meat on a cobra, so the skin is eaten as well. In the village of Le Mat, which famous for its snake restaurants, I tried snake meat in a number of ways, including in soup (both the taste and texture was like crab meat) and spring rolls (tastes like chicken). Furthermore, snake blood is supposed to be healthy with many benefits as well as a natural form of Viagra. So what is its taste like? I was surprised that tasting a fried meat actually a bit like custard. There is no fat and extremely lean and tender. After trying snake, you will surely be back for more.
Lizards and frogs
Lizards and frogs (best grilled) are standard fare in Phan Thiet. Some of my friend said that he had never tried frog until he came to Vietnam, but now he like it a lot. If you ever order a frog dish in Vietnam, pay attention to the bones! During rainy season, Vietnamese people catch toads and boil them up. They merely cut out the stomach organ and eat the rest-skin, guts and all
Fertilized duck eggs
I watched my friends eating trung vit lon for many months before trying it myself. These fertilized duck eggs are allowed to partially develop and then, they are hard-boiled. Crack the top off, suck out the juice and then spoon out the colorful morsels with pinches of pickled carrots, garlic, radish, turnip, some mint leaves, and a dash of salt and pepper.
Experience had taught me that in Vietnam, food nearly always tastes better than it looks. When traveling, you always want to experience the culinary delights that you never see at home. Eating different and unusual food is a big part of what makes your holiday memorable…
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