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A Tale of Two Fruits: The Colonial History of Durian and Mangosteen

Although both durian and mangosteen are native to Southeast Asia, their reputation – especially from a western point of view – leads two very contrasting fates: the latter is considered a luscious delicacy while the former usually finds itself at the center of many insult-throwing contests.

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Hẻm Gems: At Things Café, Humans, Cats and Nat King Cole Coexist in a Harmonious Ecosystem

I admit that it’s taken me great pains to write this week’s Hẻm Gem.

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Hẻm Gems: Tan Dinh's All-Conquering Bánh Canh Cua

Bánh canh, at times described as Vietnamese udon or even “mouse-tail noodles,” is a great mystery on its own. Etymologically speaking, bánh canh translates to “soup-cake,” and these thick, cylindrical noodles made with tapioca and rice flour of varying ratios do invoke a sense of cognitive dissonance.

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[Video] 80 Years of Cà Phê Vợt in Saigon's Oldest Cafe

Is there anything as iconically Saigon as having a cup of joe in a hẻm while watching traffic roll by?

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Hẻm Gems: The Best Bánh Căn Da Lat...in Saigon

Is there any cooking utensil that’s as magical as the bánh căn mold?

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Hẻm Gems: Refreshing Đá Me and a Touch of Pre-1975 Tunes at 81 Cafe

Given the city’s hot weather, cold drinks are Saigon's very own specialty. While cà phê sữa đá and trà đá are timeless staples, in recent years we have also witnessed the rise of milk tea shops in almost every corner of the city. These drinks provide that jolt of caffeine one needs to start or get through the day, finishing with a pleasant taste. On the non-caffeine end of the spectrum, Saigon's menu of fruit- and vegetable-based drinks is as diverse as the list of possible ingredients.

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[Video] Japanese Competitive Eater Visits Vietnam, Eats 15 Bánh Xèo in One Sitting

Yuka Kinoshita loves a good food challenge.

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[Video] BuzzFeed Employees Try Vietnamese Noodles, Choke, Cry, Make Disgusting Phở Puns

Another day, another BuzzFeed-branded “Americans Try…” video.

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Hẻm Gems: Mutahiro's Masterful Chicken Ramen

Ramen is often the preferred choice of Japanese comfort food in Southeast Asia, yet finding an impressive offering of the dish in Saigon has proven to be a challenge. The appearance of Mutahiro in the very hẻm I live in, therefore, tickled my foodie brain.

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Hẻm Gems: Pass the Bánh Ướt on the Left-Hand Side

Thanks to Banh Uot Banh Me, you can finally put to use those rolling skills you honed back in your university days...rolling gỏi cuốn, obviously (wink).

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From Texas to Saigon: Viet-Cajun Cuisine's Journey Around the World

Given the size of the overseas Vietnamese diaspora, it comes as little surprise that the community has had a huge influence on the cuisines of countries around the world.

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