| Hue's cuisine is sophisticated and diverse, receiving many praises from tourists
Nominating the hometown's delicious dishes
In early November 2023, the Vietnam Culinary Culture Association officially launched the 2023 phase of the project "Developing and Promoting Vietnamese Culinary Culture as a National Brand" with the program "Delicious dishes of my hometown" in Hue City.
Mr. Nguyen Quoc Ky, Chairman of the Vietnam Culinary Culture Association, shared: “Thua Thien Hue rightly deserves the title of 'Culinary Capital' as it is the locality with the most honored dishes in the recent 'Journey to search for typical Vietnamese culinary cultural values'. With diversity and sophistication, the richly flavored dishes of the former capital have captivated visitors from near and far.
Out of a total of 421 dishes nominated by the Departments of Culture and Sports, Departments of Tourism, Tourism Promotion Centers, and Culinary Culture Associations from 60 out of 63 provinces and cities nationwide, 121 typical dishes, representing the unique value of each province and city, have been selected, with Hue topping the list of typical culinary dishes (such as Hue beef noodles, tapioca dumplings stuffed with roasted pork sweet soup, mussel rice, tapioca dumplings, mixed vegetarian fig salad, vegetarian rice steamed in lotus leaf. However, considering about 1,700 dishes of Hue, this list will need to be supplemented with many more dishes from various localities of the former capital.
At the recent announcement and awarding ceremony of typical culinary dishes of Thua Thien Hue province, Mr. Phan Ngoc Tho, Permanent Deputy Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee, affirmed that with a rich history, Thua Thien Hue is a land deeply imbued with traditional Vietnamese cultural identity. Hue is not only famous for its diverse cultural heritage, beautiful scenic spots, but also for its unique cuisine. Spreading Hue's culinary culture will contribute to spreading Hue's culture and building Hue – the Capital of Culinary. The launch of the "Delicious dishes of my hometown" movement to spread and promote the value of local delicacies will be an opportunity for the typical dishes of Hue to spread their value.
Currently, the Department of Tourism has deployed to localities, tourism service businesses, and related individuals to register and nominate typical local culinary dishes.
Mr. Nguyen Van Phuc, Director of the Department of Tourism, said that the program "Delicious dishes of my hometown" will be nominated by a community of experts, chefs, restaurant businesses, culinary and related agencies in the field of culinary and tourism of Thua Thien Hue province. The results of the program will be decided through evaluation and voting by experts and the local community.
Elevating the value of Hue's culinary culture
Vietnam has an extremely rich and attractive culinary culture, and when mentioning Vietnamese cuisine, many people immediately think of Hue's cuisine. However, eating a dish is not just about enjoying its flavor, but also appreciating the spiritual value hidden in each ingredient, spice, and recipe. These are values that, if properly promoted, can elevate Hue's cuisine and develop tourism.
Building promotional programs to spread culinary culture and food discovery tours is a potential approach. Each dish is a story, even a legend, encapsulating the quintessence of a long-standing and rich traditional culture. To make "memorable dishes," tourism professionals need to create additional experiences for tourists, making the dishes not just food but a form of sophisticated culinary art.
According to Mr. Nguyen Quoc Ky, to elevate Vietnamese culinary culture in general and Thua Thien Hue in particular, besides the "Delicious dishes of my hometown" program, the Vietnam Culinary Culture Association will cooperate with localities to implement many contents and items, including supporting localities to form a set of events and activities to promote the development of the culinary culture ecosystem. Media and promotion on a national and international level will be used to honor cultural, nutritional, and economic values, aiming to develop local culinary tourism.
Additionally, the Vietnam Culinary Culture Association will support the digital transformation of local culinary cultural activities on a unified map platform and the Vietnam Culinary Culture Museum (virtual). Furthermore, contests such as young artisan/chef, and demonstrations of "Delicious dishes of my hometown" linked with local events will also be organized.
According to culinary culture experts, with two streams of royal and folk cuisine, Hue's cuisine has established its brand. However, to elevate and spread the value of culinary culture, it is necessary to organize activities that bring together cuisine from across localities performed by the talent and identity of artisans from various regions. This can also involve trade exhibitions with many booths displaying local products and food industry businesses. This could start with a culinary festival featuring 121 typical dishes of Vietnam that have been honored, and then progress to gathering typical culinary cultures from around the world. Cultural exchanges in culinary arts also provide opportunities to introduce, elevate, and spread Vietnamese cuisine in general and Hue's cuisine in particular.