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Week in coastal Central Vietnam foodblog

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5 minutes ago, KennethT said:

Yeah, the rice paste in the banana leaf, topped with minced pork and shrimp, with that sweet fish sauce... it was awesome.  Don't get me started on my love for mangosteens....  but don't pass up a really good, tree ripened SE Asian mango if you ever get the chance... they taste almost nothing like what passes for mangoes in the US.  Right now, in NY, we're getting "champagne" mangoes, aka ataulfo mangoes, grown in Mexico - but since they're picked green and "yellow" on the shelf, as opposed to ripening on the tree, the flavor, texture, aroma and juiciness totally lacks by comparison.  I made the mistake of getting a couple of these mangoes over the weekend, and made a viet style mango salsa for some salmon last night...  I am so sorry I did.  The memory of the awesome mango is too fresh in my mind, so these mangoes tasted like crap - even though I know in my head that they're really the same things we always get during some times a year, and I am usually a fan - at least mostly...

I've never had a mango...even a crappy one.


It occurs to me that I need to get out more lol.

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Always enjoyed your Asia foodblogs - this one was as awesome as the others! The crispy banh khoai and the banh beo look exceptionally tasty.


I think you mentioned you are learning/have learned some Vietnamese. Did you learn it just from being immersed in the country, or books, or language courses? Did you end up speaking Vietnamese a lot or was any English spoken in the areas you visited?

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I originally learned a little using the Pimsleur series of language learning cds for our trip to Saigon. I just started get comfortable saying a few words by the time we left. This time, I refreshed my skills about a month prior to leaving with the cds again which went a lot faster and I was much more comfortable using it right from the start. I actually did use it quite a bit, but most of the time I could have avoided it by pointing or miming.

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I add my thanks. The region fascinates me. Thanks for bringing it to my living room.

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 Many thanks, Kenneth. It was like a mini vacation for me. 

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Thank you so much for this amazing account. You are so much more knowledgeable about Vietnamese food that I was before our trip - I do wish I'd known more about what to look for. We ate so well on our trip but your experiences are awesome. Of all the places where I've travelled, I think Vietnam was in my top 2. The food, the people, the beauty and the history. I was born in the US and was at the right age for protesting the Vietnam war when it was on, so the names of the cities and regions were familiar from news reports and friends who had to go there to fight. I loved that we could go there and see a the country in peacetime. So many echoes of that difficult history wherever you look.

Edited by Nyleve Baar (log)
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Thanks for your blog @KennethT, I would also be interested in more !

Great that you went to Lac Thien, I hope granny was still in the corner peeling garlic.

Did you write your name on the wall ? 

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I didn't notice granny in the corner, but that doesn't mean that she wasn't there... I didn't even know to look for her!  No, we didn't write our names on the wall - we got too caught up with eating!

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