Vietnam ranks 6th among 24 Asian countries with the best cuisines by the reputable international gastronomy website TasteAtlas.
|Banh mi or Vietnamese-styled baguette with great fillings can be found literally everywhere in Vietnam. Photo: Lam Kieu
According to this experiential travel guide to traditional food, the list is drawn up from visitors' voting on ingredients, dishes, and drinks.
With a score of 4.31 points, Vietnam is not far from the best on the list, which includes Japan with 4.59 points, and India with 4.54. The top five iconic Vietnamese dishes suggested by TasteAtlas are Banh mi or Vietnamese-style baguette, Pho or traditional Vietnamese noodle soup with beef or chicken, Cha gio (Nem ran) or spring rolls, Bo kho (braised beef) and Bun bo Hue or Hue style noodle soup with beef.
In addition, five iconic products include Vietnamese iced coffee, Phu Quoc fish sauce or fish sauce made from Phu Quoc Island, Vietnamese Coffee, Egg coffee, and Cha lua or steamed pork roll.
The great geographical diversity of Vietnam with three regions of the North, Central and South, has led to major differences in the way food is cooked by locals and perceived from place to place, the website wrote.
|A wonderful dish from central Vietnam: Bun bo Hue or Hue-styled noodle soup with beef. Photo: Bitom Nguyen
With an area of more than 300,000 square km and a wide variety of climates, soil types, and altitudes, Vietnam boasts an enormous exuberance of herbs, vegetables, poultry, and seafood.
Thanks to this great geographical diversity, the way of preparing a dish varies greatly from one place to another. Diners may find that a Pho bo dish in Hanoi is quite different from what is prepared in the south or center of the country.
Also, spices would be a factor that makes Vietnamese dishes aromatic and delicious. Herbs have been used in cooking for thousands of years and also go a long way in giving Vietnamese cuisine its unique character. Spices can be found in any Vietnamese dish and help to add a punch of flavor to even the simplest dish.
Earlier, the gastronomy website also listed the "10 top-rated Vietnamese dishes", featuring some Hanoi specialties such as Pho bo or Hanoi noodle soup with beef, Bo nhung dam or beef in a hot pot with vinegar, and Banh mi.
|The yummy dish of Nem ran or spring rolls is prepared by Xuan Kieu Kido. Photo courtesy of Xuan Kieu