Summer vacations are over. The sky is a bit greener. The weather is still as unexpected, but a lot more pleasant. Though it is gloomy at times, shortly after, you can easily little rays of sunshine through the leaves. And when you can smell the fragrance of milkwood-pine flowers in chilly breezes, you know it is the time for autumn in Hanoi.
Autumn brings these subtle changes to the city of Hanoi, along with its culinary specialties.
Come, go on your Vietnam culinary tours and discover what Hanoi in autumn has in store for you and your taste buds!
Com is an endearing word to the Hanoians. Ask a Hanoian and the person would never say only “Com”, but rather “Com lang Vong” – meaning Vong village’s “Com”. Why? Because it has long been known that Vong village makes the best Com – distinctively elegant as some may say!
Com is for sure a special autumnal gift of Hanoi. Without it, the picture of an autumnal Hanoi would be incomplete.
Com is a gift of Hanoi
Com is green young sticky rice. The rice is harvested early, in April and August, to make this special dish. And to avoid harsh weather conditions, farmers usually wake up as early as 4 in the morning to do the work.
And, notice and you will see Com is always wrapped in some green leaves! No one serves Com on a dish or in a jar. And it is certainly not because of any artistic purposes.
The rice is carefully wrapped in two layers of leaves: the first is to keep it from drying and to preserve its natural jade colour, the second to give the Com a pleasant aroma of lotus.
A famous (and healthy, too) snack that is enjoyed in autumn is ripe bananas with Com. The fruity sweetness of the banana with Com’s nutty flavour makes a perfect combination.
When sampling Hanoi cuisine this autumn, do not forget to try some Com!
Mooncake is certainly not your typical Vietnam street food. It is in fact rather expensive.
In the past, and maybe even now, mooncake is a sweet dream of many Vietnamese kids. It is traditionally a special treat of Mid-autumn Festival in Vietnam.
Now, it has become a symbol of Vietnam’s Mid-Autumn Festival. When you see vendors pop up on the streets selling boxes of mooncakes, you know the festival is coming.
Mooncakes are carefully made
There are many types of mooncakes. Mainly, there are two shapes: square and round. And there are also two kinds of crust for these cakes: baked and glutinous. The baked ones have an attractive brown-orange color. The glutinous are white. Their fillings are traditionally munged bean paste or lotus seed paste. Now, however, there are dozens of fillings available for you to choose.
The mooncakes are put in delicate and eye-catching boxes and are often given as gifts.
Also known as dracontomelon, or dracontomelon fruits. Its Vietnamese name is simply “Sau”.
Seeing the ripening Sau reminds people immediately of autumn in Hanoi. These small, yellow fruits certainly bring back floods of childhood memories for those who grew up in the city of Hanoi.
Sau – a Hanoians’ snack bursting with flavours
Sau is usually peeled and sugared. Salt and chilly powder are also added to enhance the flavours. Some even say this candied treat is like the Japanese umeboshi. And it is hard to not see a vendor on the streets selling Sau in autumn.
So quickly, on your Vietnam food tour in Hanoi, grab a small pack of this snack and enjoy it on the way!
Seasonal fruits: Dong Du guavas and Xuan Dinh sapodillas
The Vietnamese cuisine is never without fruits. And autumn is the time for guavas and sapodillas!
In Hanoi, you will hear people say Dong Du guavas a lot. That is because Dong Vu Village has the most delicious guavas. Although can be harvested year-round, the trees provide greatest number guavas in July and August.
Dong Du Village is famous for its guavas
And the sapodillas too can be harvested year-round. But the place that provides the best ones is Xuan Dinh of Tu Liem district, Hanoi.
Are you getting ready for your Vietnam culinary tours? Planning to visit Hanoi this autumn? Then do not forget to note these treats down and try them when you get to the city!