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"What Vietnamese specialty should you try in the autumn? "

lanhnguyen
Submitted by: lanhnguyen Length of trip:
Trip taken: January 2008 No. of people on trip: 1 person

Locations visited:

Far East and Asia: Vietnam

Trip Features:

lanhnguyen took this trip with her and also recommends this trip for those traveling with their:
> Guy Friends
> Pet
> Girlfriends
> Extended, large family
> Significant other/Spouse
> Immediate Family

The cost category of this trip was:

TRIP DESCRIPTION

For Hanoians, nothing evokes autumn like the taste of young rice from Vong village. Que Chi reminisces.

On my sixteenth birthday my mother presented me with a packet of com (young rice) from Vong village, the grains so sweetly scented that they lift a lasting impression. Upon untying the two strands of grass that bound the outer lotus leaves, I smelled the fresh scent of lotus. Inside was a second layer of leaves, these from a sweet potato plant. Pulling back these leaves revealed a pole of delicate green grams, my mother watching as I look my first bite.

Many times as a small child I had wished for the money to buy some com. Served with red persimmons or ripe bananas, com is truly delicious. Vong village, on the outskirts of Hanoi, is said to produce the best com in northern Vietnam.

To produce their famous com, residents of Vong village grow a special variety of sticky rice. Wealthy families buy it for their lucky kids, and grooms' families present it to brides' families as engagement and wedding gifts. Poor children, as I then was, rarely had the chance to taste such an elegant treat.

Years ago I accompanied a friend to Vong village, where her grandmother told me about the strenuous work required to produce com. The sticky rice must be harvested at just the right moment and the grains must be roasted shortly after being picked. The rice is roasted over a moderate heat and gently stirred, a process that is repeated seven times.

Aware that Hanoi is entering another autumn, I feel nostalgic. Today, packets of young rice are no longer sold in the city's small lanes; I wonder if any vendors continue to wrap this special treat in lotus leaves.

Green rice is still available however, as it is used in different local specialties. Green rice cakes are sold on Hang Than Street. Sticky cakes stuffed with green rice are still on Hang Dieu Street and Quoc Huong green rice paste is sold on Hang Bong Street. Restaurants also offer dishes involving com, such as chicken stewed with herbs and green rice, or green rice served with fried shrimp.

While these dishes are sophisticated, I long for a simple packet of com like that presented to me on my sixteenth birthday. On that day, my mother predicted that I would live far from Hanoi, which proved correct. In giving me a packet of leaf wrapped com she gave me a packet of sweet memories about my hometown, Hanoi.

This article written by Lanh Nguyen from Vietnam Heritage Travel

For original article, please visit:

http://vietnamheritagetravel.com/news/1350-delicious-memories.html

http://hotel-in-hanoi-vietnam.com


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