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Notes from LinkedIn: Eat Globally, Eat Better – Hello Vietnam!

By Marcus Samuelsson | November 1, 2012

Photo: goodmami

Originally posted on LinkedIn where I contribute weekly stories as part of their INfluencers program

Just like I am keeping my eyes on the culinary landscape of Brazil, I believe Vietnamese is another cuisine to watch. With its abundance of vegetables, minimal use of oils, and liberal application of spice, Vietnamese food is not only delicious but is also considered one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. The country’s better-known dishes include phò, the broth and noodle soup, bánh mì sandwiches, and gỏi cuốn, more popularly known as summer rolls.

But with various historical influences ranging from French to Chinese to Thai, Vietnamese cuisine is both bold in its flavors and varied in its dishes, with a wide range of zesty curries, sauces, and an abundance of small plates. I am particularly fond of the Vietnamese practice of starting meals with a crisp summer salad. These delicious combinations of herbs, vegetables, and meat all over a bed of vermicelli noodles the salads are both balanced and tasty, leaving you satisfied after eating much less.

What I find particularly refreshing about Vietnamese cuisine is just the attitude the country takes towards eating. Every dish is made according to balance, heat and dry juxtaposed with cold and moist. With a strong Buddhist heritage, much of the food is vegetarian, but when the Vietnamese eat meat nothing is wasted. The nose-to-tail dining heralded by many food activists in the United States is the simply the standard in Vietnam.

While a recent guest from Vietnam assured me the Vietnamese food I would find in New York City was the same as what I would find in Hanoi, I am eager to see more and more of the diverse regional variations from this Southeast Asian nation enter the international eating scene.

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