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|Vietnamese cooking is varied and usually very good. It is a mixture of Vietnamese, Chinese and French traditions, with a plethora of regional specialties. As in all countries of the region, rice or noodles usually provide the basis of a meal. Not surprisingly, fish is plentiful. Breakfast is generally noodle soup locally known as pho (pronounced 'fur'). French-style baguettes are available throughout Vietnam. Local specialties include nem (pork mixed with noodles, eggs and mushrooms wrapped in rice paper, fried and served hot) and banh chung (glutinous rice, pork and onions wrapped in large leaves and cooked for up to 48 hours, to be eaten cold at any time). Vietnamese dishes are not complete without nuoc mam (a fish sauce) or mam tom (a shrimp sauce). Western-style cooking is on offer wherever tourists or business people are to be found in any numbers.
Green tea is refreshing and available everywhere. Apart from baguettes the French culinary legacy also embraces rich, fresh, filter coffee, usually brewed on the table in front of the customer. Vietnamese often have a fondness for beer. It is possible to get both local and imported brands. When in Hanoi it is worth trying the local draught beer available at street stalls. It is called Bia Hoi and is not only cheap, but also free of additives. Rice wine is also a favorite throughout the country. It is generally extremely potent.
Source: HungryMonster Writers