5. Đông Tảo Chicken
In addition to the longan tea, Đông Tảo Chicken is another royal specialty of Hưng Yên. Known for its huge legs, this chicken has been aptly nicknamed the “elephant legged chicken.” Unfortunately, Đông Tảo Chicken does not stay well very long and, thus, requires a lot of effort to keep it edible. One note of caution: the older the chicken, the better the meat; its delicious flavour is truly one of a kind. This chicken can be used in many dishes, but the most famous one is called “Stewed Dragon Scale with Herbs,” which is cooked with its oversized legs.
6. Nam Định’s King Banana
Nam Định was the hometown of many kings in the Tran Dynasty. Content with their lot in life and emanating generosity, the people in Nam Định grew a special tree with fruit exclusively for the kings. The fruit? Small bananas. Today, the bananas still exist and, while they are not very big, the bananas have an incredible smell and delightful flavour.
7. Cốm Vòng (Vòng Village’s Green Rice Flakes)
Vòng Village’s green rice flakes are Thăng Long’s most famous specialty dish. Originally created over 1000 years ago, Cốm Vòng was first introduced to the Kings of the Ly dynasty. Today, it is served annually during the autumn season in Hanoi.
8. Khanh Hoa’s Edible Bird’s Nest
Made from the swiftlet’s solidified saliva, the bird’s nest has a very distinctive flavour and high nutritional value. Long ago, it was collected from the far islands of Khanh Hoa Province to serve the kings whom resided there. Today, people don’t have much chance to enjoy this food as it remains outside their price range, costing individuals about 50-60 million VND per kilogramme ($2,700 per kilogramme). Internationally, however, the bird’s nest remains quite popular; it is harvested now mostly for exporting purposes.