Vietnam: Food Part 3

In Saigon, one of the largest, if not THE largest, indoor market is Cho Ben Thanh. Stacked to the gills with stalls selling fabric, food, clothes, purses, counterfeit goods, and tchotchkes of all types.

This is a "coffee shop." 

And a few spaces away, the Vietnamese version of Sweet Factory.

Whether it's Vietnam or Vermont, one of the best parts of visiting family is getting to see how they live and being treated to some home cooking.

My mom's sisters run a small noodle shop out of their house and this is bun rieu chay, a vegetarian version of a popular noodle soup typically made with crab. Fresh herbs, steamed tofu, and a really delicate crispy and super thin cracker crumbled into the broth just before you eat it. Perfect for a cold Bay Area day. Still delicious on a humid Bac Lieu morning.

One of my cousins at her restaurant, also a noodle shop, but this one is in a busier marketplace. She is lightning fast with the assembly of these noodle bowls. 

These eggs are another story. The "hundred year old" eggs take their sweet time to mature. Spotted at a market in Bac Lieu.

And the meaning of 'whole foods' and 'fresh and easy' has to originate in markets like these. Everything is straight from the field or ocean or river, and in the case of these fish, still moving in their basket.

But one of the most curious sights were the carrots. Stumpy and super fat. Totally unlike the ones we grow here, and if anyone knows why they come out like this, enlighten me in the comments section please! 

And if you're going to make some off color joke, it better be good.