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Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

Vernissage @ Shop 100%

Shop 100% is a great new shop that just opened in D2. It prides itself on being able to trace the sources of its produce to ensure that they are 100% organic. In addition, they are supporting Vietname...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

Snakes and Rats and Scorpions, Oh My! The Unique Offerings of the Mekong

During the typhoon season, the women of the West River hunt for bounty in the wildlife-filled swampland. For most of us urban dwellers, the idea of eating scorpion, rats and snakes probably isn’t on t...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

Three of Saigon’s Oldest Banh Mi Shops

Banh mi has been an iconic Vietnamese staple since French colonization brought bread to the region in the 18th century. Though the French have come and gone (and come and gone again), the soft, airy b...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

A Look Inside a Saigon Rice Noodle Plant

Over the past month, the news has been full of reports about chemically-laced bun noodles. Though recent tests have shown a decrease in the cancer-causing additives, the issue is still top-of-mind fo...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

Vietnam’s Development Through the Lens of Iron Chef

The Atlantic recently published a piece on Vietnam’s increasing development and westernization. Instead of looking at economic statistics and trends, they chose to examine this through the lens of one...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

Can Coffee Save the Vietnamese Economy?

As inefficient state-owned business drag down Vietnam’s economy with bad debt, other sectors must pick up the slack. In times of economic stagnation, the country has one fallback - agriculture.

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

Vietnam is Turning into a Country of Yogurt Addicts

At the rate yogurt is gaining popularity in Vietnam, it soon may be the preferred currency in the black market. According to VietnamNet, the Vietnamese yogurt market is expected to reach VN...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

Phở-Flavored Cocktail Makes Its Debut. Seriously.

Pho is a universally adored dish (yes, even aliens love it), a melody of simple ingredients that yield abundantly complex flavors. Bottom line - it's goddamn delicious. So it's no surprise that people...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

For Foreigners, Eating in Vietnam not Always as Easy as it Looks

Vietnam is world renowned for its food, confirmed by the likes of Anthony Bourdain and Gordon Ramsey who have dedicated entire TV specials to the country’s culinary soul. And for those of us who live ...

in Food Culture

Bugs & Flowers

On a typical day in Cai Lay District, about 90 KM outside Ho Chi Minh City, farmers toil in the field tending to their rice paddies. But today is special, and like any special day in Vietnam it will e...

Brian Letwin

in Food Culture

Nuoc Mam: Ketchup’s Great-grandfather

Ketchup has an interesting lineage. Nuoc mam, or fish sauce, is a staple condiment in Asia where it has been used for hundreds of years. Its flavor-enhancing characteristics make it akin to ketchup i...