Cuisine is always the most magnetic trait of Sapa. It’s so true to say that the typical cuisine is such a quintessence between the fresh flavor of the nature and the delicate art of gastronomy of the residents, especially when thinking about many specialties such as Thang Co, sour noodle, dried water buffalo meat or hand-carried piglet dishes… but after all nothing can defeat the reputation of the trademark food of Sapa, Men men.
Men men is the famous specialty of Hmong people. People don’t even know the origin or the day this food appeared, but just its important role in the daily meal of Hmong people. As a matter of fact, Men men is more than a food but a story about the hard working spirit as well as the amazing creation when facing the difficult conditions of the weather and the nature.
See more: Amazing dishes of Sapa’s unique cuisine
Living in the mountainous land, Hmong people faced many disadvantages in trading activities meanwhile rice farming was still a challenge because of the topographical features. Then they try to find another food that could replace rice to be the main food in the daily meal then the legendary men men appeared as a life saver and day after day an important specialty of regional gastronomy.
It’s is not easy at all to make men men when every step need a lot of patience and skills and particularly experiences. From the very first step of choosing ingredient, people has to make sure the best quality of corn. Then grind corn into flour and knead the dough before steaming. For the best flavor, the yellow and fragrant dough has to be steamed twice and men men made of old corns will be cooked longer than the young ones.
Accompanied with this specialty is always a bowl of many kind of soup such as vegetable soup (chayote soup, bumpkin soup…), thang co, and stock… because of its dry taste. Furthermore, to enhance the flavor of Men men, people add chilli sauce, aroma herbs and steamed black bean. Especially, men men mixed with rice raise in popularity in no time with the tasty flavor of corn and the fragrance of rice. It depend on the taste of people, tourist can also eat men men with Pho or noodle as well.
Eating a little bit of men men accompanied with a sip of soup, the wonderful savory spread in your mouth then the more you chew the more you feel its unique flavor, delicious and lightly sweet. In the summertime, people taste men men with dried chilli which help to warm the body up in such a freezing temperature of Sapa highlands.
Read: A fairy Sapa in winter
This corn food is the favorite dish of everyone, from elderly to children, from men to women, no one can resist the taste of this rustic delicacy. Just the moment setting food in any weekend market and starting your culinary discovery you will find out the important role this food plays in basic life of ethnic groups and specifically Hmong people.