NDO – The half-century-old facilities producing ‘hu tieu’ (a kind of rice noodle in the south), which are located on the banks of windy rivers in the Mekong River Delta province of Can Tho, have been always busy with boats.
The boats often carry rice to the facilities for making noodles and then bring dry noodles to customers and restaurants. Many boats have been also used to carry visitors to experience and enjoy the delicious dishes made from the specialty of “white rice and pure water” in the locality (which is also known as Tay Do land).
Waking up in the morning, visitors can take boats to go to Cai Rang floating market to enjoy ‘bun nuoc leo’ (noodle soup with sauce made from different fish) and ‘hu tieu’ noodle soup beside pots of boiling broth. The fragrant flavours can awaken all senses such that every visitor wants to enjoy the local specialties on floating boats. Not far from the market, many noodle facilities have been preparing since 4-5am to prepare for a busy day.
In Can Tho, facilities are not only places for production but also have become attractive destinations where visitors can see with their own eyes how to make noodles, prepare them and enjoy the attractive flavours of unique “versions” of hu tieu. Therefore, after going to the floating market, many visitors went to families who have been making hu tieu for a long time to learn about the traditional handicraft.
The common feature of the facilities making hu tieu in Can Tho is that they are the spacious production spaces located by the river. Traditional settings, from kitchens that are roofed with coconut leaves, high-rise stoves with steaming pots and sunny gardens for drying fragrant rice paper, to long-standing tools such as grinders, coconut shells and bamboo slats for drying cakes, have been kept as heirlooms left by their fathers.
Every day, families light a fire and support a pot over the fire. For many years, the ovens are always burning, signalling a busy day. The facilities are also the destinations for visitors who have always wished to make rice papers like skilled artisans.
The facilities making hu tieu are also spaces for people in Tay Do land to show off their ingenuity and creativity through the introduction of delicious dishes. Hu tieu pizza in particular is a special recipe that visitors should try when they come to Can Tho.
Translated by NDO