Discussion » Food & Drink » Colonizers' Influence Infuses Southeast Asian

  • A.w
    A.w wrote:
    <p><a href="http://www.npr.org/2011/10/18/141465353/colonizers-influence-infuses-southeast-asian-cuisine?sc=ipad&amp;f=1008" target="_blank">http://www.npr.org/2011/10/18/141465353/colonizers-influence-infuses-southeast-asian-cuisine?sc=ipad&amp;f=1008</a></p> <p>Colonizers' Influence Infuses Southeast Asian Cuisine<br />by Eve Turow</p> <p>NPR - October 19, 2011</p> <p>I woke up on a sunny morning ready to discover an unfamiliar city. Out on the street I passed a woman serving perfectly baked baguettes smothered with fresh pate. I strolled by cafes, gelato shops, the Opera House and central market. Arriving at Paris Bend, I stared up at the towering peaks of Notre Dame cathedral and wandered the halls of the Central Post Office, designed by Gustave Eiffel in the late 19th century.</p> <p>Yet I was not on a boulevard in Paris, or anywhere in France for that matter. I was in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.</p> <p>I arrived in Southeast Asia expecting a bounty of noodle soups and spring rolls, but once I entered the lands once occupied by the French and Dutch, my culinary expectations were turned around. I found that in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, French staples such as coffee, bread, pate and pastries are the norm. In Indonesia, I observed the colonial influence of the 17th century Dutch spice trade. Today, Dutch products abound, and the Dutch often claim the traditional Indonesian recipes as "Dutch Indonesian."</p> <p>Two of my favorite Vietnamese meals were clear hybrids of Vietnamese and French cuisine. Banh mi is a ubiquitous street food, available in several variations, with vendors competing for "best banh mi." The fully loaded banh mi comprises French bread stuffed with pate, pork, chicken, pickled carrot, daikon, cucumber and cilantro, topped with a fried egg, hot sauce and mayonnaise. My other favorite, banh xeo, is inspired by the French crepe. Made with a rice flour and coconut milk batter, banh xeo is filled with ground pork, shrimp and bean sprouts, and served on a bed of lettuce, fresh mint and basil with a side of spicy dipping sauce.</p> <p>In Laos, colonized by the French from the late 19th century to mid-20th century, I was overwhelmed with the bounty of bread, the smell of coffee and the fabulous wine bars in Luang Prabang. My friends and I, tired of rice and Chang beer after a month in Thailand, surrendered to our Western cravings and ordered baguettes with Nutella or La vache qui rit (Laughing Cow) cheese. One evening we lounged at a wood-lined wine bar on Sisavangvong Road, ordered a beautiful Bordeaux and snacked on fried broad beans. It was hard to believe I was not in Europe.</p> <p>Cambodia showcases similar French influences, culinarily with pastries and coffee and architecturally with French peaked roofs and traditional windows. Unlike the Laotians and Vietnamese, Cambodians incorporate smoked fish into salads and even bagels with cream cheese at some higher-end cafes. While some write that the use of smoked fish was originally done to preserve the produce, I find the recipes' similarities to French smoked fish salads to be remarkable and likely French influenced.</p> <p>In Indonesia I was able to observe a different colonial influence, the lasting imprints of the Dutch. An archipelago of more than 17,000 islands, Indonesia is an immensely diverse country with varied religion, ethnicity, language and cuisine. Yet the Dutch spice trade affected each island, forming a shared connection with the Netherlands.</p> <p>While the Dutch contributed to the Indonesian language and economy with advances such as their world-famous irrigation system, culinarily, the effect seems to go in the other direction. Instead of Indonesians integrating Dutch food, the Dutch adopted the Indonesian cuisine. Dutch traveling companions were amazed to learn I was not familiar with gado-gado (steamed vegetables with peanut sauce) or bami goring (stir-fried noodles). These dishes, they informed me, are traditional foods in the Netherlands. Really, they said, they thought of Indonesian food as Dutch. In fact, today there is a cuisine known as "Dutch Indonesian."</p> <p>Before venturing to Southeast Asia, I never imagined that I would find myself in Cambodia attempting to read a school sign in French, or in a supermarket in Bali trying to work through a label in Dutch. I never imagined a baguette with jam and coffee would be the local breakfast served at a restaurant near Angkor Wat and the Imperial City in Hue. Whether it was the iron detail on a balcony, the superb brew of coffee or the vocabulary borrowed from colonizers, French and Dutch influences remain in modern Southeast Asia. It is just one more reason to travel: You never know what you will learn once you arrive in a new place. [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]</p>
  • Malin Aaker
    Malin Aaker wrote:

    Perfectly baked bread? Ok, I'm sold, I'm moving to Vietnam next month!

  • Pavoir Sponse
    Pavoir Sponse wrote:

    The Banh mis are absolutely brilliant, sandwiches don't get much better

  • High Priest
  • K5-35
    K5-35 wrote:

    In this case, how about Chinese cuisine's overpowering influence over cuisines of all other races'? What's your point?

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)

    ...

    Hahahaha .. Persephone ... who were you asking or addressing? I dont know where you have traveled or lived before, but I can assure you many cuisines around the world have all been cross-breed ...

    The article Ami has written here is just how two (?) of the SE Asian countries were affected due to colonialization, interestingly, and also disappointingly, Malaysia and Singapore were not mentioned ... and also missing was Hong Kong ...

    Where I came from, most of the Chinese restaurants have "evolved" because of the demand, for example, they have Chinese dishes, as well as fish and chips ... they have even adopted Japanese wasabi and created this lovely dish called Wasabi Steak ... these are probably not found on menus in most Chinese restaurants around the world, but, they are a MUST for most Chinese restaurants in Australia ...

    I believe this is called adoptive survival ... not just "overpowering influence" ..

  • Jenny&King
    Jenny&King wrote:

    Food is good, Eat it!  

    yes  .....I will go there in spring festival to try some......some is similar to our hometown's food...really delicious 。。。。I prefer he fen...mang guo niu liu ..ye zhi ji...

  • Michelle Pham
    Michelle Pham wrote:

    Vietnamese speaking:

    For anyone who gonna visit Vietnam and love our country's food. There are some dish that i can recomend: (in Hanoi only)

    1)Phở bò ( beef), phở gà( chicken)

    2)Hủ tiếu nam vang 

    3)Bún riêu, bún ốc, bún đậu mắm tôm.

    4)Bánh cuốn 

    5) Xôi gà, xôi thịt kho tàu,giò chả. 

    6) Phở cuốn

    7) Nem chua rán, nem ngọt rán. 

    8) Miến lươn.

    There are some dishes i love.(You can google the pic of the food since I dont know the english word).I don't know many restaurants in Hanoi since I haven't lived there for a while , but there is one restaurant I always visit when i'm home is " Quán Ngon" 18 Phan Bội Châu-Hà Nôi. They have many traditional díshes from many cities in vietnam.

  • Jenny&King
    Jenny&King wrote:

    This  is what i was cooking for my lunch today.....Dose it looks like He Fen?

  • Michelle Pham
    Michelle Pham wrote:

    The noodle looks pretty the same Pho. where did u buy it?

  • Michelle Pham
    Michelle Pham wrote:
  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)

    ...

    (continued) ... heehee ... I was not sure whether the Vietnamese restaurants in Sydney (Australia in general) are authentic or not, but now it looks like they are ...

    FYI ... Muse in Beijing seem OK too ... I like their Beef Noodles ...

  • Jenny&King
    Jenny&King wrote:

    @ Michelle It's rice noodle right? ^^That was my lunch ...I cooked it by myself ...and i think there are pretty much similar food between Vietnamese food and our hometown's food//// similar but still different so i preffer some Vietnamese food more........oh by the way the sixsenses place is a travel hotel in

  • Michelle Pham
    Michelle Pham wrote:

    haahha true !It might look the same but taste always different.

    Even in the same country , if you eat Pho in Hanoi it is still diffrent than you eat Pho in HCm city.

    Muse is pretty good but it is more Southern Vietnam than Northern .I prefer Muse in the Chaoyang West Gate -the orginal one but it seems like they close it a long time ago. 

  • Michelle Pham
    Michelle Pham wrote:

    @JK: yeah JK i checked that website for hundres of times siince u gave me that webste . I heard of that place but never been there. 

    Btw the restaurant named " 那么那么" in the embassy area is pretty good too. It taste like real Vietnamese food tho !

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)

    。。。

    (continued) ... closed? but last time I went to Jenny Lou's, I saw it still sitting there ...

  • Jenny&King
    Jenny&King wrote:

    yes yes same food....different taste........So they say you can live a french style house in Vietnam....but you only can feel french in Paris.....I don't know ...so just make a way to try..............

  • Shane
    Shane wrote:

    China's food is a bit overpowered by the gutter-oil incidents and a general ignorance to any normal sanitation regulation. I would take anything from taiwan, HK, or vietnam over the shit they serve people here. Anyone try the "box lunch"?

  • Shane
    Shane wrote:

    I apologize, its more that Beijings food isn't great. I was in ChangChun recently and dongbei people know how to eat! 饭包 is one of my favorites now.

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)

    ...

    (continued) ... Shane ... you mean one of those served on plastic container that looks simiar to what they use in college or prison, cost between 10 to 20?

  • Jenny&King
    Jenny&King wrote:

    ^^ Thanks Michelle ...i will try to go " 那么那么" ...love to try real real Vietnamese food ....

  • Shane
    Shane wrote:

    yep, its a 3 course trip to hell.

  • 叮噹叔叔 (令狐叮噹)

    。。。

    (continued) ... heehee ... my recommendation is to think of it as bad canteen food ...

  • Shane
    Shane wrote:

    Yeah, perhaps its why weight watchers hasn't really entered the China market yet! Alright its time for bed, got a good buzz going and I think its time for a movie (3:00AM)

  • Jenny&King
    Jenny&King wrote:

    福代越式茶餐厅 

  • Jenny&King
    Jenny&King wrote:

    This place is in Wudaokou hualian ...........so which place taste more real .....Muse or Phodarz?

  • Jenny&King
    Jenny&King wrote:

    @ Ami     what is the food's name of the second picture?   It looks like

     Chun juan......

  • Jenny&King
    Jenny&King wrote:

    Thanks Ami ^^ I have tried some Vietnamese freshing spring rolls in Phodaiz...... but looks a little bit different ....this one of your picture have shrimps in it.....looks better.....

  • Michelle Pham
    Michelle Pham wrote:

    The 1st one is Hu Tieu Nam Vang isnt it?

  • Michelle Pham
    Michelle Pham wrote:

    I heard of that before but never been there. U ate there before? how was it?

  • Michelle Pham
    Michelle Pham wrote:

    made me hungry ! Gonna try that as soon as im free!!! woohooo!

  • Jenny&King
    Jenny&King wrote:

    Yami ^^  >< <><

  • Michelle Pham
    Michelle Pham wrote:

    they are all delicious but im not sure what is the name of that food

    @A.W hahahs..pho gaThis is how Pho Ga should look like 

  • Michelle Pham
  • Michelle Pham
    Michelle Pham wrote:

    hahahahah you r so good with vietnamese foood name !!! Made my day 

    Big smile in the morning !

Please login to post a reply to this thread.

WeLiveInBeijing

WeLiveInBeijing.com is a social community for people living in or traveling to Beijing.

Powered by: Bloc