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Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Durian in Nha Trang Vietnam

As we were walking in Mui Ne, Vietnam, brave Mr. Scotty Steak boldly says, "Wanna have a durian eating contest?" Sure, why not: I do love durian. I knew this will be an easy win for me since whitey here has never had fresh durian before. Durian is not called the king of fruit for any easy feat. It is called the king of fruit for the very reason that few warriors (such as myself) can devour its flesh while savoring the delicious-ness of the entire experience.

On Friday night, February 5, Mr. Scotty Steak conquered the durian flesh without the gag as I had imagined. He ate a whopping tablespoon leaving me to finish off the entire fruit. I ate 8 pods, thank you very much! As I enjoyed every bit of the fruit, I noticed Mr. Scotty Steak kept drinking water to wash down the itty bitty amount he consumed. As I turned, he says, "Man, it smells like ass and tastes like wet baby diaper!" Wow, I cannot imagine how someone can describe my durian this way. As I tried to smell the ass, all I could smell was an airy aroma I can only describe as perfection to the palate. The sweetness, delicacy of the fruit melts me.I will surely miss this creamy texture and stunning aroma when I leave Vietnam.

As I ate the durian, I looked out to the Nha Trang beach envisioning this was where my mother loved to swim as a little girl. This is the city of my birth. This experience will be treasured as I share this king of fruit in this amazing city with my Logan and Mr. Scotty Steak.

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Monday, February 1, 2010

Eating through my homeland Vietnam

The very best Vietnamese food in the world is on the streets of Saigon. I've been eating my way through the Ben Thanh Market in District 1 the last few days. Street vendors here can serve up any meal you can imagine. Let's see what I can remember consuming the past 3 days; sweet rice with mung beans, rice ball/ coconut pudding, crepes, baguette with fresh sunny side up eggs, beef pho, chicken pho, pork filled rice cakes, vermicelli with grilled pork, fresh ramen with roasted pork, steam pressed vermicelly with shrimp wrapped on sugar cane all served with the aromatic chilies. The chilies are unbelievably spicy and just perfect for me. I cannot name all the fruits I have snacked along the way...fresh coconut juice, mangoes, mangosteen, lychees, longans, watermelons, guava are just a FEW. Entire kitchens are set up every morning and hauled home every night. Vietnam, the people and way of life amazes me every time I visit. The roots that run through this country is deep within its cuisine. Each dish is crafted to be enjoyed the day of, if not within the hour. The people pour heart and soul into making every task is quite zen.

Die hard noodle fans I wish one thing; a trip down the streets of Southern Vietnam some point in their lifetime to witness the foods you have grown to love in the States in its raw and purest form. We are heading to the coastal regions of central and Northern Vietnam over the next couple of weeks. Check back for more noodle pics and updates.

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