Huyen Tran is a Vietnamese freelance writer at Word Vietnam. Proud of her motherland and believing that the country has a lot of potential and charm that remains untapped, she is continuously involved in jobs that showcase Vietnam's people & culture, as well as promising economic growth. Her work may not create huge impact, but she holds firm to her belief in the future of Vietnam.
When I was growing up, my grandmother told me, “Bread is the dish of Western people, brought to Vietnam by the French. It is only for urban or upper class people. It is expensive and not for the working class like us…”
Today, this sounds far-fetched. For many years, bread or banh my (banh mi in the south), has been one of Vietnam’s street food staples.
November is when Hanoi says goodbye to autumn and welcomes winter. The pleasant mild and cool weather is said to tempt people to eat — just thinking of hot rice porridge or steaming rice dumplings warms you up while riding back from work. Not surprisingly, at this time of year, mid-afternoon snacks are popular with Hanoians.
As the street corners in Hanoi start feeling the onset of autumn, things start to get a little romantic. Streets are filled with yellow leaves, trees quiver in the light breeze and the air is perfumed with that special aroma of milky flower.
Huyen Tran investigates the irresistible dish that smells as bad as it tastes good. Photos by Francis Roux