Southerners always have a thing for delicious dishes and a great company and so do I. A foodie as I call myself, I have never passed a chance to try out new food no matter their origins, whether it’s Asian cuisine or European fusion. Once I tried “Bun Cha Hanoi” during my first trip there, the experience was truly delightful.
“Bun Cha Hanoi” was a signature dish of the capital city that one must try when they travel here. It used to be exclusive to northern people long before it was first introduced to the rest of the country. Now, you can find Bun Cha in my city but the taste has somehow been adjusted to meet southerners’ appetite. The first morning of my trip to Hanoi, I was looking for a place to have breakfast and came across a super crowded food stand with a very savory smell. Bun Cha was printed on a big billboard, illustrated by a mouth-watering picture, therefore, I decided to give it a shot. Bun Cha was a combination of rice noodle and grilled pork, served with herbs and a side dish of dipping sauce. I didn’t even know how to eat it in the right way at first as many bowls and dishes were displayed at the same time. However, it wasn’t tricky as it looked. The flavor reminded me of “Bun thit nuong” back in the south, which I believed was a variation of Bun Cha but still had a distinct taste. Together with papaya pickles, Bun Cha made you crave more the genius mixture of sweetness and sourness. If you want to get a true taste of Hanoi, do not miss Bun Cha during your stay there.
Foodie (noun) someone who enjoys eating or cooking different types of food and who talks a lot about food
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Delightful (adj) very pleasant or attractive
Signature dish (collocation) a recipe that identifies an individual chef
Mouth-watering (adj) having a very good appearance or smell that makes you want to eat
QUESTION FOR PART 3
1. Do you like to try new food?
I consider myself a foodie for good reasons. There’s nothing that pleases me more than being able to get lost in a food paradise where plenty of mouth-watering dishes from different parts of the world are displayed. Yet, it’s not only about having a taste of signature cuisines but gaining insights and understanding about other cultures and customs in general because food is an integral part of any community’s history and development. Therefore, I would never turn down the opportunity to test out new dishes.
Integral (adj) important
Turn down (phrasal verb) reject
2. What kinds of foreign food are popular in your country?
Well, there’s no need for debate since fast food such as fried chicken and potato chips has dominated domestic market over the last decade. Traditionally, people aren’t accustomed to consuming fast food with high concentration of oil, fat and lack of seasoning, however, things has changed since KFC, Lotteria and many others well-known brands evaded the F&B market. Besides said items, burgers, Korean and Japanese cuisine are attracting more and more consumers thanks to the effect of these countries’ movie and music industry.
Dominate (verb) to have control over a place or person
3. Do you like to cook at home?
Much to an enthusiastic foodie myself, I am not that skillful as a cook. Don’t get me wrong but I love home meal even more than eating out, but I prefer not to cook. Sometimes I do bake if there’s any occasion or I just want to give myself a special treatment. Chocolate chips cookie, sponge cake and caramel flan are my signature dishes together with lemonade and strawberries soda. That’s definitely not cooking but the best I can do with my kitchen skill, at least at the moment.
4. Is it expensive to eat out in your country?
Generally speaking, dining out is relatively higher than preparing meals at home by yourself. Still, depending on what kind of food you prefer, the cost will vary greatly. If street food or Asian cuisine is your favorite option, the price is quite affordable considering its quality and quantity. In case you are an addict for foreign taste such as Korean, Japanese or European, you’re better be prepared since it will cost you an arm and a leg for a decent meal.
Cost you an arm and a leg (idiom) be very expensive
5. What’s the difference between Asian food and western food?
It is noticeable that Asian cuisine is more diverse in terms of spices and herbs in comparison with Western dishes, which is considered to be healthier for people’s body and mind. Spices and herbs like cinnamon, rosemary, ginger… not only help sharpening the flavor and adding color but works as medicine as well. People always try to make the best use of out spices and herbs in healthcare treatment instead of heavily depending on conventional medicine. Besides, Western food has higher concentration of fat since butter and cream are usually main ingredients in almost every dish.
6. What do you think about traditional food?
Just as what we call them, traditional food represents tradition and cultural characteristics. Therefore, they should be preserved and passed on from generation to generation as a reminder and honor to our past. Traditional dishes, in most cases, are still as delectable as they used to be and with some variations and additions to the original recipes, they taste even better.
Delectable (adj) looking or tasting extremely good, and giving great pleasure