Life Life

09/03/2022 - 08:21

"Hunting" snacks, finding childhood memories

With a variety of choices, from "authentic Hue" snacks to regional specialties, snack lovers in Hue have found their own ways to enjoy delicious, nutritious, cheap, and quality snacks.

Diverse choices and snack-enthusiast groups

It's a memory

Ms. Phan Dieu Nhi (Hue City) was on cloud nine when she accidentally saw a young person’s status posting the address of the bakery on Facebook. She excitedly said: "It's been decades since I last had the salt and pepper bread of my childhood. I miss it so much. The crust is crispy and the inside of the bread is not too thick or too spongy. The smell of butter and the taste of salt and pepper is rich. Biting a piece of bread, my memories rushed back to my childhood days when I would go to school with my friends and we would eagerly wait for the bread seller to go past to buy a loaf”.

Despite living in the southern area of the river, Nhi was still willing to travel more than 5km to the address of the rare salt and pepper bakery on the northern side. She bought a dozen of loaves to eat and relive her childhood. She happily brought the bread home for her son and introduced to him her favorite bread when she was at school.

To meet the recent demand of customers, Mr. Ngo Dac Nay's salt and pepper bread bakery (Gia Hoi ward) has upgraded the oven and baking stages. On average, Mr. Nay produces nearly 3,000 loaves every day.

Ms. Ngo Thi Gai, Mr. Nay's daughter, said: "Over the past year, many customers have heard on Facebook about our family’s bread of over 50 years of tradition. Our supply could not satisfy the demand. Most of the bread is bought on the spot by the customers who love it. For the rest, after work, I will deliver when customers order."

Salted bread - a childhood gift

Not only salt and pepper bread, but other traditional snacks have recently been gaining popularity as the taste and memory of the tasty dishes of the past being aroused on social networking sites.

Mr. Nguyen Duy Thanh, who specializes in producing banh com (glutinous rice crispy)  in Huong Toan (Huong Tra), said: "Currently, I mainly use flat glutinous rice with adjusted quantities of cereals, peanuts, and sesame seeds, so that it would be suitable for current customers. Normally, banh com is only popular in the winter, but now, all year round, people order it as a gift."

Everything can be found online

In modern life, instead of street vendors, technology has brought snacks closer to customers thanks to a team of deliverers and social networking sites. Bustling with hundreds of different dishes, Hue Snacks Group alone has more than 29,000 members participating. Following closely behind is the group "Hue Snacks Market" which attracts more than 25,000 members buying and selling.

In addition to selling snacks, these groups are also places where young foodies find information and read comments and reviews to choose delicious dishes.

My Anh, a young person who is passionate about snacks and is an active member of the "Hue Snack Market" group, said: "My friends and I often look for new snacks to enjoy together, especially the ones from the Southwest region because of the strange taste and affordable price".

In addition, these groups are also useful search tools for tourists. Mr. Tran Van Sung, a tourist from Ho Chi Minh City, said: "I’ve come to Hue to enjoy the local food. So in addition to the addresses of beef noodles, mussel rice, snakehead fish noodles, I am also curious about snacks. To find unique, delicious, and cheap vendors, my friends and I often like to browse through the review groups. Besides the usual dishes, snacks in Hue are also worth enjoying."

For connoisseurs, in addition to Hue specialties such as banh beo, banh nam, banh loc, banh com, banh cam, regional specialties are also extremely diverse and attractive. These include Dalat grilled rice paper, tam cakes, honeycomb cakes, pandan leaf cakes, and steamed layer cakes. In addition, snacks from abroad such as takoyaki octopus balls, Taiwanese sweet potato cakes, kimbap, tokbokki rice cakes are also sought and enjoyed by many young people.

Keeping up with the trend, in addition to traditional flavors, snacks are continually changing and being improved to satisfy customers. On the contrary, savvy customers are also becoming more sophisticated and are looking for different ways to "hunt" the address of delicious and quality snacks. Not simply a mouth-watering dish, snacks have turned customers into sophisticated "players", and the search and enjoyment of snack food have turned into an interesting and attractive game.

Story and photos: Mai Hue