Making news

Specialties of Tet feast in central region

 The long and narrow central part of the country with harsh weather has caused local residents to struggle with droughts and constant floods. Although they led a difficult life, people in the central region still try to arrange a hearty meal to worship their ancestors during Tet (Lunar New Year) festival. It reflects the wish for a family reunion, a prosperous and peaceful life in the new year.

The Tet feast of the central region is cooked very skillfully and meticulously. The food is divided into small plates and usually put on round trays, showing economical spirit. The popular dishes in the central region include boiled chicken, fried eggs, soups, vegetables and rice.

After offering the meal to the ancestors on the altar and the incense has burned out, people eat the food together in a warm atmosphere.

While banh chung - square sticky rice cake - is a must-have item in the new year tray in the north, banh tet – the cylinder-shaped sticky cake - is preferred by people in the central region. They might be different in length but all wrapped in banana leaves, filled with glutinous rice, green beans and pork before boiling them for 8-10 hours. Then, banh tet is cut into even circles.

Banh tet was varied by people in each region. They might add lamb, goat meat or vegetarian ingredients to give them a strange taste and make them more delicious.

The central region’s harsh climate is believed to be the reason why local residents pay more attention to the ability to preserve Tet feast.
In addition to banh chung, banh tet which can be preserved for up to a month, dua mon is also a popular dish during the occasion. Dua mon - sliced papaya, kohlrabi, carrot and onion were dried and soaked in fish sauce or Hue’s typical shrimp paste, retains its crispy and delicious taste even though it is kept for a long time. Dua mon is often served together with banh tet in order to enjoy a combination of different tastes - sweet, salty, fatty, and spicy.

The foods commonly found in the central region's feast include cool dishes such as beef or pork soaked in fish sauce, Vietnamese beef sausage, nem chua (fermented pork).

The type of alcohol to put on the altar to worship the ancestors during the Tet festival is also considered a specialty of each region such as Hong Dao alcohol of Quang Nam province, Bau Da alcohol of Binh Dinh province or Minh Mang alcohol in the ancient capital of Hue. All create a traditional Tet tray full of flavours and imbued with homeland identity./.