The Meal and Food in Vietnamese Culture
Table of Contents
The meal and food in Vietnamese culture cannot be understated. In Vietnamese culture, the family meal isn’t just a place that family members gather together and enjoy delicious dishes. The meal also plays an important part in family cohesion and serves as an opportunity to enjoy the dishes, talk and share stories with each other.
Vietnamese culture and the meal are linked by there importance as a form of connection after a long days work. This was normally the only chance for siblings, children, parents, and grandparents happily enjoy each others company and recount the stories of the day. This important tradition in Vietnamese culture has remained as a core pillar of society and widely enjoyed even today.
Wide Variety of Vietnamese Cuisine
While the meals may vary on the prosperity and wealth of the family, the abundance and availability of dishes is always plentiful. This range of economic wealth has lead to an array of unique dishes that are particular to region and proximity to certain types of ingredients. Vietnamese cooking is diverse and vibrant. The family evening meal is an intergenerational affair and often is large gathering.
For breakfast, however, the Vietnamese prefer quick meals such as Pho, noodles or banh mi (bread roll). At lunch, some families still gather to enjoy the meal and happily chat with each other. You will see a sea of children making their way from school to the home as the lunch bell sounds. After that, they will take a short nap to “charge their batteries” ready for their busy afternoon.
Certainly, dinner still remains the most important meal of the day. After a hard working day, family members will return to their home with the aim of either entertaining and relaxing. The dinner is always carefully cooked with love. During the meal, pickles, fish sauces, and shrimp sauce are indispensable because they are favorite condeminents of the Vietnamese.
Vietnamese Food by Region
The cuisine in Vietnam is uqiquely different in each region. Many believe Hanoi represents true Vietnamese cuisine with dishes like spring rolls, Bun cha, or Pho, etc. On the other hand, the cuisine of southern Vietnam is a harmonious mix of Thai, Cambodian and Chinese cuisines. The southern Vietnamese people often add coconut milk and sugar into their food. This region is also famous for producing many different varieties of delicious fish sauces. In central Vietnam foods tend to be more salty and spicy. Color also plays a role in central Vietnamese cuisine, dishes are often brilliant with the natural brown and red tones.
Restuarants and abundant Vietnamese Street Food
Home is not the only place for the family to gather, the abundance and affordability of street food in Vietnam means that families particularly in the busy cities will share a meal at a restuarant or a more humble connection on the side of a highway or a street. No matter where you choose to eat, the busiest restuarants will guide you to the best meals. Often street vendors will specialise in a certain type of cuisine. This will be all the offer but, they will cook this dish extremely well. If you are looking for a great meal, follow the crows of people the busiest vendors normally build a loyal following.
The Vietnamese and Hosting Meals
Furthermore, inviting guests, business colleagues or customers to enjoy a meal is also a typical way Vietnamese establish and maintain relationships. At that time, the hosts often cook many delicious dishes and carefully prepare them for their guests. Obviously, this is entirely different from the Western culture because the hosts usually pick up nutritious and delicious food for their guests first. They also let the visitors eat first showing visible evidence of Vietnamese hospitality.
Meals and Modern Day Vietnam
Nowadays, in the industrialization era, especially in many big and modern cities, people become too busy for the family meals. Nevertheless, most Vietnamese people realize the essential nature of the family meal as well as its advantages. Therefore, on special anniversaries or holidays, all members of the family will gather, no matter how busy.
For the Vietnamese, family is important. The family is the place where traditional values nurture each person and the family meal a vital symbol of this country and its hospitality.