Coming to the Mekong Delta, travellers will have a bunch of chances to experience numerous dishes from the typical cuisine there, each of which leaves a memorable impression in their hearts.
The cuisine in the South of Vietnam, in general, and the peculiarity of the Mekong Delta, in particular, are considerably influenced by that of China, Cambodia and Thailand. For example, Southern Vietnamese foods are often seasoned with a lot of sugar, and coconut milk is frequently used in cooking and baking. The street food here is also characterised by a great usage of aquatic food of fresh water and brackish water (snails, shrimps, prawns, crabs, clams and mussels), and by some “weird” rustic specialties such as field rat, fruit-eating bat, snake, coconut larvae, etc.
Whoever has once set his foot to the Mekong Delta certainly cannot forget the impressive taste of the as-soft-as-silk spring rolls served as appetizer and dipped in the mouth-watering Vietnamese fermented soybean paste, the grilled snake-head fish freshly caught in the paddies with a rustic smell from the straw, the dish of crispy “banh xeo” served with the home-grown and freshly-picked greens, and the bowl of sour soup cooked with the seasonal yellow “dien dien” flowers. Each dish brought onto the table brings with it a little breeze from the lotus ponds, a little sunlight from the unmeasurable rice fields and a little smell from the delta’s flora to the nostrils and the ears of the travellers, giving them a relaxing, tender massage and washing away all the stress of the busy modern life in their minds.
Beside that, this culinary influence also results in various types of “mam” (fermented foods) such as “mam ca sac” (fermented snake-skin gourami), “mam Bo Hoc” (a unique kind of fermented fish of the Khmers) and “ba khia” (fermented mangrove crab).