For Vietnamese people, Tet is the most important holiday of the year, the time when the whole family gets together. That’s why the Tet tray is always hearty, part to make offerings to ancestors, wish for good things in the new year, part for members to feel full and enjoy delicious dishes.
In each region, Tet rice tray has its own special things, depending on customs and culture. If the Tet tray of the Northern people is very sophisticated, symbolizing the four pillars, the four seasons, the Southern Tet rice tray is simpler but contains the philosophy of the five elements.
In the Central region, due to the harsh weather, often suffering from many natural disasters, the economic life in many places is not good, so the Tet tray is also simpler. However, every New Year to spring, people in the Central region prepare a full plate of rice to offer to their ancestors with the hope of a favorable new year and favorable rain and wind.
A feature of the dishes of the Central people is that the taste is sour, spicy, salty, sweet, richer than in the North, but less sweet than in the South. Dishes are also more brightly colored, with a penchant for dark browns and reds.
Due to the hot weather in the Central region, the Central rice tray often prefers salads such as chicken salad because it is easy to eat and cool to the gut. In addition, the Tet tray in the Central region is also more comfortable, not as strict as the North, which means that people in the Central can even eat squid on the 1st.
Some typical dishes in the Tet tray in the Central region must be mentioned Banh Tet, but Banh Tet in the Central region is smaller than that of Banh Tet in the South to preserve it longer. In addition, many Central families still pack more banh chung. Therefore, on the Tet tray of many families in the Central region, there are both Tet cakes and banh chung.
There is no thick, square banh chung like in the North, but instead, banh tet is a popular and indispensable cake in the Tet holiday of the people in the Central region. Banh Tet is wrapped in a cylindrical shape, filled with banana leaves. The inside is the same as the filling in banh chung such as: pork, glutinous rice, green beans. When eating, often people will eat with melon dishes to increase the flavor of this cake.
Another feature of the Tet tray in the Central region is that although there are many dishes, the dishes and dishes are usually only small, just enough, will be taken more when they are finished, rather than the policy of displaying large bowls and plates full of dishes like that of the North. In the tray of rice, outstanding cold dishes include: spring rolls, beef rolls, tré, sour shrimp, pork,… As for the main dishes, there are cooked beef, roasted chicken, pork shank. braised radish with lean pork, pork soaked in fish sauce, … depending on the region, the habits of each house.
During the Tet holidays in the Central region, if not counting the rolls, it is a huge omission – one of the unique features in the culinary culture here. Roll dishes in the Central region in Tet holiday are diverse! These are spring rolls, rice paper rolls with pork, steamed fish, wet cakes rolled with grilled meat or even banh xeo. Simply because this dish is easy to eat, suitable for the taste of most people in the Central region.
Along with that is anti-boring food. If the North likes pickled onions, the Central region is like the South, or makes pickles to fight boredom for the Tet feast. Pickled dishes with white radish, carrots, palanquin … dried and then soaked with fish sauce when eating is both crispy, rich and less boring.
Nowadays, the trays of Tet holiday of the Central people are not only encapsulated in the traditional direction but according to the needs of each family, people can also transform into many different delicious and creative dishes but still very delicious. very simple and rustic.