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Peach-based dishes to revive Australian summer in Hanoi
Jenna Duong 17:27, 2023/12/22
This is one of many activities in celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

A peach cooking demonstration program by talented chef Nguyen Manh Hung, aka Hungazit, took place in Hanoi on December 21, kicking off a series of events showcasing the Australian summer peach crop in Vietnam.

 The event to promote Australian summer fruits was held on December 22 in Hanoi. Photo: Tu Pham

According to Australian Trade and Investment Commissioner Chris Morley, this is the second Australian peach crop to be showcased in Vietnam. "We are very pleased to announce that the Australian summer peach crop has reached a bumper season. And the first freshest peaches of the season have been shipped to Vietnam to serve Vietnamese diners," he said.

"All pitted fruit is kept at a temperature of 0 - 2 degrees Celsius throughout the post-harvest cold storage process and at 8 - 25 degrees Celsius when it reaches the consumer's hands to maintain freshness, crispness and quality," he added.

Australian summer fruits currently available in the Vietnamese market include two main fruits: peaches and nectarines. The peach can be recognized by its velvety or fuzzy skin, which is usually yellow and red or red and white. Peach flesh also ranges in color from white to rich orange, depending on the variety, but is grouped into white or yellow varieties.

 These fresh Australian nectarines have just been airfreighted to Vietnam.

To mark the occasion, Chef Hungazit is preparing three unique European dishes using peaches, including Australian Nectarine Salad with Lemon Dressing, Duck Breast with Peach Sauce and Australian Peach Ice Cream. "Ripe peaches have a delicate aroma and may give slightly under gentle pressure, while nectarines are sweet, firm and crunchy. Both fruits are wonderful when eaten fresh, canned, or prepared with other foods such as duck, beef, or lamb," he said.

According to the chef, dishes made with peaches are particularly suitable for the health of Vietnamese consumers, especially those on diets. "For example, the dish 'Australian Nectarine Salad with Lemon Dressing' features pan-seared fresh peaches served with bacon, arugula, fresh cheese and lemon dressing, making it a low-calorie yet nutritious starter. The fruit retains its freshness and is a rich source of vitamins, minerals and fiber, helping to support weight loss and promote skin beauty," he added.

Visitors attending the launch of Australian summer fruit products also had the opportunity to learn cooking techniques from the famous Hanoi chef. "I found Australian nectarines to be both beautiful and delicious. The fruit I tried has a natural aroma, mildly sour taste and is very crunchy. I hope it will be sweeter when it ripens," said Thuy Tran, a Hanoi diner who attended the event and shared her experience with The Hanoi Times.

 These international dishes are prepared by fesh Australian peach and nectarines

Trevor Ranford, CEO of Summerfruit Australia Limited, representing the supplier of Australian peaches and nectarines to the Vietnamese market, said that Australian summer fruit is produced in about 26 regions across the country.

In March 2022, Australia received approval to supply peaches and nectarines to the Vietnamese market.

"Some very small trial shipments have been made to ensure our fruit can meet the required protocol and most importantly, provide a great experience when eating our stone fruit; this has been a fantastic achievement between our two countries. We hope to see Vietnam become at least the second largest trading country for peaches and nectarines," he said.

"Thanks to Australia's unique microclimates and rich soils, Australia's warm climate and hot, dry summers promote sweeter, juicier summer stone fruit. In addition, its proximity to Asia allows for lower freight costs and better access to fresh markets in the region; as well as preserving the flavorful process from farm to consumer's hands," he added.

 Australian peach cooking experience for Hanoi visitor.

On the other hand, according to Ranford, Australians are very excited to enjoy tropical fruits from Vietnam, such as mango, longan, lychee, and dragon fruit. Fresh passion fruit will also be imported in the future. "We are always looking forward to having more Vietnamese fruits in Australia," he told The Hanoi Times.

In 2023, Vietnam and Australia celebrate 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries, which have strong economic ties, with trade and investment growing steadily in recent years. Australia is Vietnam's 7th largest trading partner and Vietnam is Australia's 10th largest trading partner. There is also significant cooperation in education, defense and tourism.

Statistics from the Ministry of Industry and Trade show that in the first quarter of 2023, bilateral trade turnover reached $3.41 billion, making Australia the 7th largest trading partner of Vietnam and Vietnam the 10th largest trading partner of Australia.

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