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What Makes Vietnamese Cuisine So Popular?

| September 20, 2014 | 0 Comments

Vietnam cusineVietnam features more than 2,000 miles of coastline. Throughout its history, fishing and farming have been the primary means of subsistence for much of Vietnam’s population. During its early years under Chinese rule, many of the culinary traditions and spices used by Chinese chefs became part of the Vietnamese style of cooking. Traders, militia members and colonists from France during the latter half of the 19th century also had a significant impact on the cooking methods and spices used in Vietnamese cuisine. The availability of fresh fish and seafood has been a constant factor in the evolution of this ancient culinary style.

Light and Fresh Spices

The flavor profiles most associated with Vietnamese cuisine feature combinations of contrasting elements. Sweet items are often paired with salty ingredients to create a savory combination; in a like manner, hot and spicy elements may be integrated into rice and vegetables to create an appealing contrast. Some of the most commonly used spices in Vietnamese cuisine include the following:

• Mint
• Garlic
• Lemongrass
• Cilantro
• Ginger
• Star anise

These spices are often combined with fish or chicken to create unique and delicious sauces. Fish sauce is by far the most often used condiment and culinary ingredient in Vietnamese savory dishes and can be combined with a wide range of fruits, vegetables and meats to enhance the flavor and to provide the characteristic scent and taste associated with Vietnamese culinary traditions.

French Influences Persist

One of the most delightful surprises in Vietnamese cuisine is the banh mi, a classic sandwich that incorporates fish, pork and vegetable fillings inside a traditional French baguette. Banh mi sandwiches are served throughout Vietnam on street carts and in smaller restaurants and represent a staple in the casual dining environment of the country. The meat broths used to create pho are also a legacy of the French occupation of Vietnam. Before then, most broths were constructed of fish and chicken rather than beef and pork.

Geographical Divisions

The culinary styles practiced in northern Vietnam owe much to China. Stir fried rice, vegetables and meats are much more common in this region of the country and are often paired with sauces similar to those used in traditional Chinese cooking. Fish and chicken are popular ingredients throughout the country. In the southern regions, however, these elements are typically combined with coconut, lemongrass and other spices popular in Thai and Cambodian cuisines. The ready availability of cane sugar in the south of Vietnam may also account for the sweeter and lighter taste of dishes associated with this area of the country.

The ready availability of fresh vegetables, fruits and rice ensures that these ingredients appear frequently in the classic dishes of the Vietnamese culinary tradition. Dietary experts also extol the health benefits of this light, low-calorie cuisine in preventing obesity and reducing the risk of various maladies. Incorporating Vietnamese dishes into everyday meal planning can provide a delicious alternative to the same old routine and can expand culinary horizons for the entire family.

Benefits of Wheatgrass

| May 4, 2013 | 0 Comments

Video on how to grow Wheatgrass at Home

Many people hate the idea of drinking a glass of wheatgrass juice. Even though wheatgrass juice is not tasty, it is the best source of living chlorophyll. The botanical name of the plant is Triticum Aestivum and is said to contain about 98 earth elements. Some of the health benefits of the plant are:

Amino Acids

Wheatgrass is known to contain about 18 amino acids like isoleucine, leucine, lysine and several other essential amino acids. Adequate supply of these amino acids is required for normal functioning of the body. These amino acids are required for enzyme and protein synthesis and help in growth, development and maintenance of cells and muscular structure.

Antiseptic Properties

The antiseptic properties make it an ideal product for healing rashes, bruises, scores and several other skin problems. You can also use wheatgrass as a soothing agent for sunburns.

Good for your hair

Many people mix wheatgrass with their regular shampoo to repair their damaged hair. You can also use wheatgrass powder to get rid of dandruff. The juice of wheat grass also helps in getting rid of grey hair.

Vitamin C

Most people are unaware of the fact that wheatgrass contains more Vitamin C than oranges. Also, it contains Vitamin A which is good for your eyes.

Anti-Ageing Properties

The anti-ageing properties of wheatgrass help in rejuvenating your skin and slow down the aging process. It also helps in maintaining skin elasticity and which tackles the problem of sagging skin. You can also use a mixture of wheatgrass and milk to get rid of pimples and acne.

Wards off the effects of radiation

Wheatgrass is known to contain an enzyme called SOD which helps in reducing the negatives of radiation. Also, the anti-inflammatory compounds present in wheatgrass help in preventing cellular damage.

Improves Hemoglobin Production

The pollutants in the atmosphere can harm the lungs and affect the hemoglobin production. This damage caused by pollutions and gases can be repaired by including products that contain chlorophyll in your diet. When you have products like wheatgrass that contain chlorophyll, it improves the production of hemoglobin in the blood.

Detoxification

Wheatgrass is a powerful detoxifying agent as it helps in removing harmful toxins from your body. It improves the strength of cells, detoxifies the liver and blood and protects your body form carcinogens.

A word of caution

Even though wheatgrass offers several health benefits, it is in your interest to apply caution when using this product. It is a good idea to include wheatgrass in small amounts before you make it a part of your regular diet. While wheatgrass is safe for most men and women, it can cause allergic reaction like nausea, swelling of the throat and headaches in a few people. Since wheatgrass is consumed raw, it can contain bacteria or mold that can harm your body. Also, pregnant women, women who nurse their child, and people suffering from wheat or grass allergies must avoid taking wheatgrass.