on Charley and Jane in Vietnam (Vietnam), 22/Sep/2009 06:09, 34 days ago
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The food we've encountered is a bit of a Curate's Egg (no pun intended). When its good (which is most of the time) its very very good; simply cooked meat and vegetables stir-fried with lots (!!) of garlic and chili. But, being VSO volunteers– and therefore (relatively speaking) lowly paid – we tend to eat out in the local street kitchens which the Vietnamese people also frequent. It can result in being served cuts of meat that can be quite, er, challenging. Sometimes the amount of fat or, er, rind (polite word for the animal's hide?) left on makes it, well, uneatable. So we don't and just put it down to experience – when one is paying no more than a £1 or £2 for a dish it really isn't worth getting worked up about it – and the waiter wouldn't understand us anyway! But generally speaking, as I say, its fantastic and healthy too – I expect to be a Slim Jim after a few months out here (probably on account of both aspects of the cuisine!). Among the more unusual dishes I've eaten – and these all fall into thedeliciouscategory (you'll have to trust me on this!) roast pigeon, 'small bird' (sparrow I suspect– they were very small indeed without the feathers) and frog. Also, snake 'elixir' proved pleasant enough – a whole snake pickled in a kilner jar of alcohol, of which one buys a 'shot'. Like a strong pale sherry. Apparently snake is a delicacy served in the Mekong Delta in the south of the country – and yes, believe it or not, it apparently tastes like chicken!