Sunday, February 28, 2010
Banh Chung is to Tet as Turkey is to Thanksgiving. Around Tet, one starts to notice green squares all over the city. Inside these green squares is Banh Chunh, rice filled with pork and green bean paste. I'm pretty sure it is a fact that every single person in Vietnam -- minus potential allergies -- eats Banh Chung during the lunar New Year. Like turkey though, families usually have an excess of this traditional holiday food. This means that one ends up eating Banh Chung at every meal during and after Tet. Like turkey, people find creative ways to prepare Bang Chunh so it doesn't feel like you've eaten it every time you've opened your mouth. My personal favorite way of eating Banh Chung is having it friend. Steamed Banh Chung isn't so bad either.
When I returned to Vietnam, I told Huyen that I was oddly craving Banh Chung. It had been a long time since I had any and for some reason my taste buds were desiring some. Many times on the street before Tet I saw Banh Chung and had the will power to not buy it. It was a good move on my part. I'm pretty sure if I ate any Banh Chunh prior to Tet, I literally wouldn't have been able to stomach eating it for roughly 13 out of 15 meals.