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Vietnam is all about trying unrecognisable food; sampling anything and everything even though you have no idea what it is, let alone if it’s an animal, plant or bean derivative. It’s about sitting down on the curb – a plastic seat if you’re lucky – beside a roadside stall and slurping your way through a broth that has so much flavour it’s like a Mike Tyson punch on your taste buds. Yup, it’s all about Vietnam.
Lose your inhibitions and any fears of an icky belly and go full throttle; you can eat dry noodles when you’re home. The national dish and a daily staple is Pho Soup; a watery mixture of chicken or beef broth combined with ginger, spices and sliced meat, and look out for Cau Lau in Hoi An, it’s quite a speciality here because the rice has been soaked in water from a special Hoi An well, with lye sourced from local tree ash. Impressive, no? There are fresh juices found all over Vietnam, young coconuts that will cost you less than a dollar and an entire assortment of herbs, spices and condiments. You can’t call Vietnamese cuisine a one trick pony, it’s as extensive as it is delicious.
HOT tip: Wary foodies should start in restaurants with English translations. Then, when you know what you like, you can frequent the street stalls and order the same thing.