Things you never know about Vietnamese food culture

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Going to eat in Vietnamese restaurants in Helsinki has become more popular. There was a time when people think about Asian food, they think about Chinese, Thai or Indian ones. However, over the last three years, I have seen a growing trend for Vietnamese food in Helsinki. I have seen more and more opening of Vietnamese restaurants in Helsinki. I have heard many compliments from international friends about Vietnamese food and Vietnamese restaurants in Helsinki.

What makes Vietnamese food so delicious?

Vietnamese food is famous for its flavors, lightness and beauty. Many believe that it comes from the multiculral history of Vietnam. Vietnamese food gets influence from the two greatest cuisines in the world: France and China. Besides, thanks to abundant sources of cooking ingredients, Vietnamese cuisine is a combination of flavors by using a lot of herbs and spices. The flavor is always unique. Vietnamese cuisine has tendency to combine salty, bitter, sour and sweet flavors.

The "ying-yang" philosophy and five elements of Vietnamese food

The yin represents the group of those that like liquid, humid, cold, passive, interior, sky, moon, night, water, winter. Meanwhile, the yang symbolizes those that of solid, hot, active, exterior, earth, sun, fire, summer. With yin and yang, the universal equilibrium for those naturally created things is created.

The five elements of yin-yang in Vietnamese food include: hot – fire, warm – wood, cold – water, fresh – metal, and temperate – earth. These elements are usually taken into account when combining ingredients and creating Vietnamese food recipes.

People say “Eating is not just for filling stochmach, but more importantly for taking care of your health”, and it is true. Vietnamese food is as an effective medicine to cure dysfuctions caused by the loss of yin-yang balance in the human body. We believe that when a human organ is too yin, it will cause a slowdown in physical metabolism; for example, having cold, slow heartbeats, etc. If it is too yang, you will feel hot or fast heartbeats, etc. In yin-yang concept, the salty food belongs to Yang and the sour and sweet one belongs to Yin.


Community eating culture

 Vietnamese people have a culture of gathering, cooking and enjoying the food together. Unlike the western culture of coffee and cake for meeting up at home, the Vietnamese normally expect real food on the table when receiving a home invitation. 

On the dining table, there are cooked rice, soup and fish sauce for everyone to share. The food likes meat or cereals are sliced into small pieces so that everyone can take them easily. Only the soup has one separate spoon for you to take soup. We use chopsticks to take food from the dishes. There are no separate fork or anything for each dish so everyone can use to take food. 

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Hang Do