I’ve long since bid a temporary farewell to Weight Watchers. It just isn’t possible with my generous family here in Vietnam.
My family here in Vietnam has been set on feeding me pretty much all of Saigon. This is no easy task, as this place is teeming with all sorts of Vietnamese cuisine. I’m Vietnamese, but there’s stuff I’ve rarely seen or never even heard of. My family here likes to eat at the various vendors that line the roads. Food carts will often offer seating:
Or, if you’d like to be a bit more comfortable, you can enter a street restaurant:
The plastic stools may be flimsy, and the tables may be simple steel or plastic, and you may have to wipe down the chopsticks before using them, but man. So far, I’ve been able to ignore all the cons for two huge pros: first, the cheapness–
–and second, the deliciousness. Honestly, I’ve found that the cheaper the food, the tastier it is!
Of course, I’ve also been quite lucky. Street food, while delicious, is treated with caution even by native Vietnamese. I’ve been warned not to eat any uncooked vegetables and to check any produce before purchasing it.
But that hasn’t held us back. My family here doesn’t cook much– since it’s so easy, for every meal, to go out and grab some cheap grub. Typical breakfasts have included:
Street food is often fatty or oily, but never fear! Just make up for it by picking up some of the various exotic fruits, sold cheaper and fresher than in the United States! Interestingly enough,the apples and oranges and pears that are so commonplace in America are “exotic” in Vietnam.
Vietnam is pretty hot, though, so sometimes all you want is a cold beverage. Hey, no problem! You can find various types of chè, a sweet dessert drink typically made from mung beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, tapioca, and fruit, all over the city. There are a million different varieties to try!
My cousins here really like getting nước mía, or sugarcane juice. Vendors will squeeze fresh sugarcane right on the streets.
My favorite will always be cà phê sữa đá, or Vietnamese iced coffee. It’s made by brewing finely-ground, dark-roast Vietnamese coffee in a drip filter and then mixing it with a bunch of condensed milk. Then, add ice and you’re golden!
I admit, not everything’s to my taste. A lot of our dried fruits and candied spices are often a bit tangy for me.
Though most of the time I find the food impossible to resist. The seafood here! It’s so fresh!
So, in all this food-tasting, I may have put on a kilo or two. Which is unfortunate, since I’m already a size XXL in Vietnam and all the clothes here is so darn cute.
Shh. Don’t tell my doctor.