Slowfood event 8/12-2012 (Terra Madre day ) at SON restaurant, Hoi An, Vietnam
We had been driving round HoiAN and it was just around sunset when we drove past SON restaurant. We hadn’t had much to eat so we decided to make a stop. It’s a beautiful restaurant just outside the city centre (177-Cua Dai street) , built like a bamboo bungalow on the river bank. The food was excellent and the service was too. We started talking with the manager Mr Tan who invited us to Terra Madre Day, the slowfood event.
We met up with Mr Tan and an Australian woman named Kerry who held the event at SON restaurant. And we where immediately welcomed by the rest of the crew.
Experiencing the slowfood day (Terra Madre day) will not only give you a great opportunity to get an insight of what vietnamese food is all about. You also get beautiful surroundings, fantastic food and a chance to talk to locals that tells stories of their life and their experience of food.
The day starts with an introduction to Slowfood, the event and the participants. There where several countries represented. Most of the participants where Vietnamese but Australia, Italy, England and Holland where represented aswell. And us from Sweden and Norway.
To start our stomaches we got a demonstration of how to prepare vietnamese coffee. More work to it that we thought but it tastes delicious! Strong with a hint of chocolat. We where told that thevietnamese coffee are mostly based on Robusta beans and not Arabica.
After the presentation and the coffee tasteoff we got a relaxing boattrip on the river.
Time to start cooking. We got presented with 6 dishes. Every dish was prepared for us out in the restaurant while we got an insight of the ingredients and the preparation of the dish. A member of the staff told us a bit about the dish and it’s origins The smell just set our tastebuds into readymode in an istant
The food we got to taste:
- Ba´nh Sa´n.
Cake wrapped in banana leaf.
- Bu´n Trôn.
Cassara noodle mix with tofu, vegetable.
- Bo Brá.
Tica ma (Sweet cassava), carrot, tofu, herbs, wrapped in a kind of springroll
- Ba´nb tam.
- Ba´nh núay.
Cassava cake with green bean.
- Sweet soup.
Cassava powder cooked with coconut milk.
All dishes during the day where made out of Cassava. Cassava plays a huge role in vietnamese cooking. It is extremely versatile and compliments very well to the plate of fresh vegetables that usually comes with it. Cassava can be used in both deserts and in cooking.
You meet alot of people from different places in the world here and many from Vietnam. We got to talk to vietnamese from both the south and the north and the told their stories and their experience of food. And about cultural differences aswell.
Like the fact that the Vietnamese drinks coffee differently depending on which part of the country they live in.
In the North they drink coffee in a glass with milk and ice. And in the southern parts they drink coffee black in small cups. And that food in the northern parts usually are milder than the food in the south. They also told us what their favurite food is, like the dish Pha.
It’s not just the food itself that made the Terra Madre day so special, we got talk to so many interesting people all with a story of their own and we made some new friends here. The surroundings couldn’t have been better and we really feel that we got to know Vietnam on a completely different level than we had on our journey so far.
We could really sense the pride the staff had of their cooking and the food and of the work that was behind this day. We sat with Mr Tan and Kerry and her husband for a while to chat after the event and when we left SON restaurant we had a huge smile on our faces. It was by far one of the days on our trip where we felt we really got into what we love doing. Meeting people, exchange experiences and stories and see the core of what the people and the country is all about.