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Flavor of the hometown in Duong Lam food

Fri, 09 Jan 2015 . Last updated Thu, 25 Jun 2015 08:58

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Soy sauce is a specialty of Duong Lam people. Although soy sauce is not the main dish, it enhances the tastes of all dishes. That’s the special feature of Hanoi cuisine in general and Duong Lam food in particular.

Duong Lam is an ancient village that keeps the basic characteristics of a Vietnamese village with ancient architectural works. Due to its geographical location and climatic conditions, the village has many specialties. They harvest rice, husk and steam it, and then allow it to ferment. Local people make a special spice bearing flavor of the hometown.

Duong Lam ancient village with its ancient houses is an ancient cultural space has remained unchanged for years. The gate is an important part of the village. Looking at the gate, we can see how villagers preserve traditional cultural values despite the change of time. Traditional cultural values are shown through not only architectural works but also traditional dishes, especially soy sauce.

The ancient house of Mr. Ha Huu The is located in a peaceful space with traditional lifestyle which has been preserved for a long time. In the hot weather of summer, Mr. The is grinding rice to add to soy sauce. Villagers spend a space in their house for keeping soy sauce jars. As for Duong Lam people, soy sauce is a kind of traditional spice. The secret of making soy sauce has been preserved for generations. They are proud of the traditional soy sauce making craft of their hometown. Soy sauce is an important part in the food of Duong Lam. The soy sauce jar is like one of the criteria of lifestyle of a peasant family.

As for Duong Lam people, soy sauce is an indispensible part of every meal. It makes main dishes more delicious. As for tourists, dishes served with Duong Lam soy sauce are attractive. Features of an ancient village of Vietnam are still preserved well in Duong Lam. That’s the reason why Duong Lam is attractive to nostalgic tourists. So Haruka, a postgraduate working at JICA which contributes greatly to the preservation of traditional values of Duong Lam, is impressed with cultural values of Duong Lam Ancient Village. Putting aside concerns of modern life, she enjoys the peaceful space of a Northern village.

We’re coming to see Mr. Phan Hai who is famous for making soy sauce. Like other families in the ancient village, in the yard of his house, there are so many soy sauce jars. He is willing to tell us stories about this delicious spice. Water spinach must be served with soy sauce. This popular kind of vegetable can be found everywhere. Its price is low and it can be served with many dishes. Boiled water spinach is served with soy sauce. It’s delicious. Local people also eat tofu with soy sauce. The light and cool taste of tofu goes well in the hot weather of summer. Hai’s wife is making a delicious dish for us. She carefully spoons soy sauce out. Then, soy sauce is heated until it boils. After that, she puts seasoned fish into the pot. That’s the way to make delicious braised fish. We’re eager to try this dish.

This is a hearty meal. The best smell comes from soy sauce. We don’t know why these rustic dishes have such a strong attraction to local people. Only when you enjoy these dishes can you feel the unforgettable taste of the hometown. Although soy sauce is not the main dish, it is placed in the middle of the tray. Soy sauce can be served with many dishes, from vegetable, tofu to fish. Enjoying soy sauce of the ancient village, we can feel not only cultural values but also quintessence of local cuisine. Local people awarded for their effort by nature. Then, they have ingredients for making fine specialties.

The main ingredient to make soy sauce is glutinous rice. However, Duong Lam villagers use large-size glutinous rice to make sauce. After steaming glutinous rice, Ms. Loi dries them on a basket. In hot weather, villagers have to cover steamed glutinous rice with lotus leaves. The smell of glutinous rice blends well with the fragrance of lotus leave. Ms. Loi puts fermented glutinous rice into the jar. Looking at the color of fermented glutinous rice, we’re surprised at the effort of makers. Villagers add salt, water and ground soy into the jar. Now we know that it’s not easy to make soy sauce. Each jar of soy sauce is the fruit of the meticulousity and skillfulness of local people.

Many specialties are served with this traditional sauce. It’s not only a kind of sauce but also a specialty for local people. In Duong Lam Village, there are ancient and rustic houses where famous soy sauce is made.


Source: VTC10 - NETVIET

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