The taste of Tet in Vietnam’s south

13:47 | 22/02/2018 Culture & Art

(VEN) - No holiday anywhere is complete without its typical, traditional foods and Tet is no exception. The Tet food has a dual purpose – for the enjoyment of family and guests gatherings and for offerings in ancestor and spirit worship.

the taste of tet in vietnams south
Southern people prepare fresh fruits including watermelon, pineapple, mango, custard apple, fig, papaya and others on the altar to worship their ancestors and spirits during Tet

Vietnamese families prepare different traditional dishes, flowers and fruits to place on their altars during Tet. Banh tet or cylindric glutinous rice cake (filled with green bean paste and fat pork), pork braised with eggs, and pork-filled bitter melon soup are always included in southern families’ Tet food menus.

the taste of tet in vietnams south
Banh tet or cylindric glutinous rice cake (filled with green bean paste and fat pork)

Banh tet, wrapped in banana leaf, is a symbol of a comfortable life. Nowadays, there are several kinds of banh tet – vegetarian banh tet filled only with glutinous rice and mung beans, sweet banh tet filled with mung beans mixed with sugar or banana, and mixed banh tet filled with dried shrimp, pickled eggs, sausage, and Shiitake mushrooms.

Chinese braised pork is usually prepared with duck eggs and coconut milk. Served with pickled bamboo sprouts and scallion heads, this is a true delicacy.

Pickled vegetables are always included in the Tet food lists of both northern and southern Vietnamese families. While pickled onions are used by northern people, pickled carrot, papaya, kohlrabi and turnip are popular in the south. Pickled vegetables are usually served with banh tet, banh chung (square glutinous rice cake filled with green bean paste and fat pork), and meat-based dishes.

Another southern Tet food is rice paper rolls. They are prepared with top quality rice powder, boiled pork and/or grilled fish, shrimp, sausage and herbs.

There are several kinds of sausage - fresh, dried, shrimp and fish sausages. The southwestern provinces of Soc Trang, Long An, and An Giang are particularly famous for their high quality sausages.

The southern Tet food list also includes pig ear preserved with vinegar, fresh rolls filled with shrimp and pork, different kinds of jam (banana, custard apple and tamarind jams), and dumplings, among many others.

Apart from high quality dishes, southern people prepare fresh fruits including watermelon, pineapple, mango, custard apple, fig, papaya and others on the altar to worship their ancestors and spirits during Tet.

Thanh Thanh