Tet specialities from all over the country available in HCM City

Wednesday, Jan 22, 2020 07:17

A booth sells dried fishes, candied fruits and other specialities at the Green Tet -Vietnamese Products Fair being held at 12 Phung Khac Khoan in HCM City’s District 1 until January 22. — VNS Photo Xuan Huong

Specialities from all parts of the country are being transported to HCM City ahead of Tet (the Lunar New Year).

At the Green Tet – Vietnamese gifts fair being held at 12 Phung Khac Khoan in District 1 from January 17 to 22, nearly 1,000 local specialties and agricultural products, many with geographical indications, are being sold.

They include safe vegetables and fruits that meet food hygiene and safety standards, cashew nut, candied fruits, pork and beef paste, spring rolls, rice, vermicelli, dried bamboo shoot, mien dong (vermicelli made of arrowroot starch), spices from the northern mountainous region such as mac khen (wild pepper grown by the ethnic Thai), hat doi, mac mat, and traditional fish sauce.

Dinh Tuyet Nhung, head of the Bac Kan Union of Agricultural Medicine and Community Tourism Co-operatives, said her union, which represents start-ups and co-operatives in Bac Can Province, has brought specialities from her locality and elsewhere in the northern mountains such as May Thoc dried bamboo shoot, dried forest shiitake mushroom, Ba Be sticky rice, mien dong, and other products.

“The volume of our products is not large but their quality is very consistent. We hope that more customers in the city get to know about our Bac Kan specialities.

“We bring to the fair two tonnes of sticky rice. Unlike other sticky rice varieties, our sticky rice is cultivated on terraced fields and takes 10 months to grow. So it has a very special taste and aroma.”

Nguyen Thi Hanh of District 3 said: “I bought more than VND1 million (US$43.2) worth of sticky rice, dried bamboo shoot, dried forest shiitake mushrooms, and candied fruits for Tet.”

A cosmopolitan hub since people from all over the country come to live and work in it, HCM City has huge demand for regional specialities, especially on occasions like Lunar New Year.

Shops selling northern speciality foods on Dien Bien Phu Street and Chu Manh Trinh Street in District 1 and Tran Quoc Toan Street in District 3 are also crowded these days.

Their popular products include kohlrabi, cabbage, garland chrysanthemum, green onion, carrot and other vegetables, alcohol made of sticky rice, and Van village wine.

Dried northern specialities include pig tongue-shaped dried bamboo shoot from Tuyen Quang, vau dried bamboo shoot, vermicelli made of arrowroot starch, shiitake mushroom, pork pie, Hang Than green rice flake cake, Tan Cuong tea green bean cake, and candied lotus seeds from Hung Yen.

Processed foods include gio thu (pig's head paste), thit dong (braised frozen pork), bamboo shoot pickles, banh chung (square-shaped glutinous rice cake filled with green bean paste and pork), che kho (soft green lentil cake), and Vu Dai traditional braised fish.

The specialities are more expensive than during normal days and their prices could increase further before Tet, according to shop owners.

Canh orange was sold at around VND100,000 a kilogramme on January 17, but shops said the price would go up further before Tet.

All fruits and vegetables from the north are transported to the city by air, which pushes up prices but ensures they are fresh, they said.

Nguyen Hong Van in Binh Thanh District, who moved from Ha Noi to HCM City 10 years ago and was buying some northern specialities for Tet at a shop on Dien Bien Phu Street in District 1, said: “I come here sometimes on normal days to buy northern specialities such as mung bean cake and tea for my father.

“My family will not return to my hometown this Tet. So today I have come here to buy pig tongue-shaped dried bamboo shoots, vermicelli made of arrowroot starch, braised frozen pork, dried pork skin, and some fruits and vegetables so that my family can enjoy northern Tet foods.”

Besides northern specialities, people in the city can also find specialities from southern and central regions such as Ca Mau dried shrimp with/without shell, Soc Trang pia cake, Hoa Loc mango, Nam Roi pomelo, Lai Vung mandarin, Tra Vinh banh Tet, dried snakehead fish, Nghe An beef paste, and others.

Supermarkets, traditional markets, social networks, and shopping portals also sell all kinds of regional specialities. — VNS

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