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The neighborhood has a Northern flavor in the middle of Saigon

Ho Chi Minh CityNorthern specialties on Chu Manh Trinh street are available, in autumn there are Vong nuggets, from winter to spring there are Canh oranges, Dien grapefruit…

Passing through Chu Manh Trinh street, Ben Nghe ward, district 1, you will encounter a series of stalls specializing in selling foods with northern flavors, in front hanging signs saying “Hanoi specialties, Northern tea, sausages, handicrafts”. , banh cuon Thanh Tri”… According to the seller, Northern specialties here “have everything”.

Ms. Kim Phuong, the owner of a store, introduced her shop specializing in selling familiar items in Hanoi, from short-term foods such as spring rolls, banh chung, banh chung, nuggets, vegetables to all kinds of food. dried, used for a long time such as vermicelli, dried bamboo shoots, pig tongue bamboo shoots, bamboo shoots…

“Dry food can be sold all year round, but fresh food must be seasonal, wake up in every season. Currently, there are persimmons and rice nuggets in Vong village, and soon there will be Canh oranges, Dien pomelos. Spring rolls, sticky rice, rice. alcohol … every day there are goods. All are brought in from the North”, Ms. Phuong said.

Northern specialty store for more than 20 years on Chu Manh Trinh street.  Photo: Huynh Nhi

Northern specialty store for more than 20 years on Chu Manh Trinh street. Photo: Huynh Nhi

Due to the long distance, depending on the type of goods, the seller will have different ways of transportation, some goods will go by car, some goods will go by plane. Product prices will also vary greatly.

“Goods by plane, customers order the same day or the next day, and goods by car take 2-3 days. Short-term, ready-to-eat foods such as fresh rice nuggets wrapped in lotus leaves, vegetables such as suc Fresh oysters, cabbage, melons… have to go by plane to keep their freshness and deliciousness. The price of the same type of goods and the way of transportation is also about 20,000 VND/kg difference,” added Ms. Phuong.

The price is different, but thanks to the unique taste, customers in Saigon still prefer Northern vegetables even though they are grown in the South. A shop owner nearby added: “Besides the cold climate in the North, kohlrabi and cabbage are in season sweet and delicious, but here, the food is not as good, so people have to transport it from the North to the South.”

In order for short-term food to always ensure quality, the Northern specialty stores constantly import new goods, from sticky rice cakes to rice wine, tea, sticky rice and spring rolls.

Northern rice wine is cooked from glutinous rice and charcoal with a sweet, fragrant aroma, and the split seeds are stored in a box.  Photo: Huynh Nhi

Northern sticky rice wine is fragrant, sweet, and the seeds are small and stored in a box. Photo: Huynh Nhi

In addition to importing Northern products for sale, some families on this street also make their own Northern food to sell to customers, both saving transportation costs, lowering product prices, and keeping the taste unchanged.

“My house rolls are also homemade and put in a styrofoam box, whoever buys takes them off and sells them, and the spring rolls are also made at home, brought from Go Vap district,” said Kim Lien, shop owner on Chu Street. Manh Trinh said.

Holding a bottle of vinegar, a typical spice of the North often used to cook crab cakes, vermicelli, and vermicelli, a customer shared: “I often visit the shop to buy banh chung and spices. In the North, near Tet, I will stop by to buy dried bamboo shoots. I have bought here for ten years, used to eating that taste and how to cook Northern dishes, my family is from the North.”

Cam Canh was transported from the North to Saigon.  Photo: Huynh Nhi

Cam Canh was transported from the North to Saigon. Photo: Huynh Nhi

Previously, Chu Manh Trinh street was the place where many shops were concentrated. After clearing the ground to make sidewalks, the number of shops decreased. “Some people don’t sell anymore or move, but my shop is still here, still selling Northern specialties, over the years, it’s still the same now, but the buyer is still selling,” Phuong shared.

Huynh Nhi

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