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30/03/2020 - 08:02

Love Hue from its food charm

Through the videos of food & travel vlogger Khoai Lang Thang (Tramping Potato) Dinh Vo Hoai Phuong, Hue cuisine appears with a variety of forms, flavors, and fragrances. And, his videos convey a sparkling beauty of the simplicity and intimacy of the “O” (middle-aged ladies), “Mệ” (old ladies), and the people of a rustic and dearly Hue.

Admiring Thuan An pancakes

Meticulous and detailed

Food & travel vlogger is a storyteller of foods and trips using videos. Technically, it is a profession that blends the skills of a vlogger, food reviewer, food blogger, and travel blogger. Their videos win the viewers’ attention with interesting footage capturing the vlogger’s experiences and impressions on the land, people, and local culinary traits.

Dinh Vo Hoai Phuong is the owner of the Khoai Lang Thang Facebook page with 893,000 followers and a YouTube channel with 1.3 million subscribers. His fans are so familiar with his sunny smile, his warm and Southern voice, and his simple, polite but amusing gestures.

With his “one of a kind” videos, the 9X guy has helped many people know and feel more profoundly about the culture, cuisine, and people of Hue.

Food & travel vloggers share about the location, how to enjoy and the taste of dishes

In his videos, Dinh Vo Hoai Phuong introduces to viewers a friendly and pleasant Hue with countless appealing dishes.

Phuong said: “Khoai (his nickname) choose Mrs. Keo’s Hue beef noodle (Bun bo Hue) to start a new day in the city of Hue. The name “Bun bo ganh” (Bun bo on bamboo frame) came from the fact that previously, it was just a small Bun bo set-up located on the sidewalk. Very special, a noodle bowl of Mrs. Keo is not served with hocks or beef, but in return, it offers the best pork belly in town; the crab balls are spongy, fat and luscious; and the soft, sweet beef slices are placed on the surface. The noodles are small while the broth is extremely tasty and rich in Hue shrimp paste. Just adding a little bit of chili sauce, we would have a special treat for the morning.

For the pancakes, the food & travel vlogger praised: “The process of making the cakes creates some sizzling sounds, which is very fascinating. The pancakes are often used as wraps to roll with sweet and sour salads and laksa leaves and then dipped in chili garlic fish sauce. This dish is easy to eat and easy to get addicted to. It just comes after Bun bo in my list of favorite foods in Hue”.

The vlogger with Mrs. Hanh and her sour shrimp rolls near Kho Ren Bridge

Hoai Phuong's videos also introduce to viewers places that not all Hue people know. It is Mrs. Hanh and the sour shrimp roll which only “appears” and is ready for service from about 4 p.m. every day near Kho Ren Bridge, along the bank of An Cuu River.

Morning glory, lettuce, potatoes, and noodles will be all wrapped and rolled in thin, soft rice papers. The old lady also puts some sour shrimp and slices of pork belly on the top of the dish alongside a special spoonful of sweet potato sauce.

With a meticulous manner, detailed information and advice from experienced people, Phuong reminds food hunters not to miss Truong Tien Bridge bread: “After riding the boat, don't forget to try a loaf of bread just next to Truong Tien Bridge. A small loaf of bread here is just enough for a delicious dinner. If you eat here, you may want to tell the ladies to heat the bread up to make it crunchier, then the taste would be better. The char siu and the grilled meat here are a little bit sweet, so if they’re not your cup of tea, you should remember to order other fillings”.

Beyond the dishes

The occupation of food & travel vlogger did not cross him suddenly, the guy born in 1991 said: “Since I was a child, I have loved to be a globetrotter to explore different cultures and foods. After working for nearly 2 years after graduation, I gradually realized that my childhood passion was growing. After a period of learning and experiencing, I eventually decided to give up my engineering job to become a vlogger”.

Many people mistakenly think that becoming a food & travel vlogger is a way to spend money of the “rich kids”. In fact, it's just a normal job like any other one.

As it is a novel profession while training schools or courses are not yet available, each vlogger must teach him/herself and shape his/her own path. It takes him/her a lot of effort and sweat to produce a quality video product showing his/her identity. This untraveled road has introduced him/her quite many obstacles and difficulties.

“For travel & food vlogger is a new career, the first difficulty I face is from my family. Initially, I had to hide my work from my family,” Phuong shared. Furthermore, the guy born in 1991 also had to teach himself essential skills through every single video, from filming, editing, presenting in front of the camera to collecting information on food and culture.

In more than two years of pursuing his passion, Hoai Phuong has not bordered his adventures on food. To him, culinary culture is also manifested through the stories and sharing of the locals. With Hue, the boy was particularly impressed with the arduousness of the vendor ladies and their bamboo poles and frames. No matter where they are, in a vendor or deli, the ladies are always very meticulous in processing and serving their dishes.

“Experiencing Hue cuisine, I feel like I’m traveling around Vietnam in miniature. It’s a place that you can see rivers, streams, mountains, fruit gardens, and delightful foods everywhere. I will visit Hue again and again to deeper my learning and discovery of the culture, cuisine, and people of this charming land,” Phuong concluded.

By Mai Hue

Photos provided by the character

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