|Customers shop at Co-opmart Nguyen Dinh Chieu in HCM City. — VNA/VNS Photo Thanh Vu
HCM CITY (VNS) — A lot of speciality foods are available in HCM City ahead of Tet (the Lunar New Year).
They are sold everywhere from social networks and shopping portals to shops and supermarkets, and include hundreds of items from northern, central and southern cuisines and even speciality foods from Cambodia and Laos.
At shops specialising in selling northern speciality foods on Dien Bien Phu Street and Van Thanh Market in Binh Thanh District, Nguyen Dinh Chieu and Hai Ba Trung in District 1, customers can find scores of them.
Among popular fresh foods are kohlrabi, cabbage, garland chrysanthemum, green onion, lactuca sativa, carrot, and various other vegetables.
The northern vegetables have more flavour and are sweeter and tenderer than those from Da Lat.
Among dried foods, vermicelli made of arrowroot startch (from So village in Ha Noi), Chu noodle, pig tongue shaped dried bamboo shoot (Tuyen Quang), vau dried bamboo shoot (Bac Giang), Tam Xoan rice (Nam Dinh), thin-top mushroom (Ha Noi) are the most popular northern specialities.
Processed foods include pig's head paste, thit dong (braised frozen pork), bamboo shoot pickle, banh chung (square glutinous rice cake), sweet short cake, and Vu Dai traditional braised fish.
The northern specialities are more expensive than those from Da Lat due to the high transport costs. For instance, kohlrabi or cabbage is sold at VND35,000-45,000 a kilogramme compared to VND15,000-20,000 for their Da Lat counterparts.
And they could increase by another 20-30 per cent closer to Tet, shop owners said.
Traditional cakes from the central region such as snow-flaked and mung bean cakes, Quang Ngai dried beef, "one-sunlight-dried" beef, Tra River goby and Bau Da rice alcohol are also available at many markets in the city.
Specialities from the south-central region are Ngoc Viet rice, fish sauce-preserved pork and "one-sunlight-dried" cuttlefish.
Supermarkets, traditional markets and shopping portals are also selling many kinds of southern specialities like Soc Trang Chinese-style fresh sausage, Hoa Loc mango, Nam Roi grapefruit, Lo Ren star apple, Can Tho orange, Sen Hong Dong Thap alcohol, Lai Vung mandarin, Tra Vinh banh tet (cylinder-shaped glutinous rice cake filled with green bean paste and pork), dried snakehead fish, Ca Mau crab and others.
Many items from neighbouring countries are also becoming increasingly popular in the city.
Some shopping portals and shops in District 10 have been selling large quantities of items like Tonle Sap dried snakehead fish, dried snake and frog, Siem Reap sausage, and others.
Their prices range from VND280,000-700,000, 20-30 per cent higher than their Vietnamese counterparts.
With demand booming ahead of Tet, HCM City has become a magnet for foods from various parts of the country. — VNS