Hoi An: History and Passion for Street Food

The people of Hoi An love eating out, in particular street food. And this passion for the latter isn't just any random habit, but in fact history-based. In the 16th -19th centuries, Hoi An was one of Asia's primary trading ports. As such, the place was frequently visited by foreign traders from such countries as China, Holland, Portugal, Japan, and practically all over the world. Since these merchants had to eat especially after a whole day of working along the waterside, the locals thought of selling food to these traders without them having to leave their place of business. Thus, the birth of street food.

Hoi An's legendary street food is originally made of Central Vietnamese dishes. But with the abundance of foreign influence into the area, it had evolved, over time, into a combination of authentic Vietnamese taste and international flavors. Especially today, Hoi An street food comes in an even wider selection from snacks to meals and can be found in almost every corner. And whether you're looking for a quick fix, out for a family gathering, or even set to party, the sidewalks of Hoi An are sure to provide all your needs.

Che is one of the most popular street foods in Hoi An. It is usually a morning treat, a sweet soup made of different kinds, but the local favorite being dau van or hyacinth beans. It is composed of several gelatin-like black chunks of luong phanh, a Chinese jelly made from a plant of the same name and combined with some herbs. The jelly-like quality comes from rice flour or cassava that thickens the mixture. It is said to improve health and immunity, and quench dehydration especially on summer. A few drops of kumquat juice is essential for every bowl of che dau van, without whichthe meal is said to lose a signifact part of its flavor.

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