Ooodles of Noodles

I am not an adventurous eater – heaven forbid I should ever get invited to participate on Survivor or the Amazing Race.  I just couldn’t do it.  I can see that I would totally let my team down by not being able to scarf down fried grasshoppers or live bugs.  I was therefore a bit dubious about what to expect in Vietnam. That sounds silly, I know, because there is a Vietnamese restaurant in just about every suburb of Calgary – but I have never visited any of them.  Now here I am in Vietnam faced with the real thing – and you know what – it’s great!  Spicy broth with fresh veggies and rice noodles sprinkled with fresh cilantro just before eating.  Yum.  It’s called Pho.  (Pronounced FOH).  Here’s another weird thing.  There are no fat people in Vietnam.  Honestly, I did not see one.  I asked my guide, Bik, about this.  She laughed and said that she had married an American and when he moved to Vietnam to live permanently he lost 25 pounds just over two months and he eats even more than he used to.  So clearly the food is good for you.

Drive through any town in Vietnam and there is sure to be little “snack huts” along the side of the road where you can buy Chicken or Beef Pho for the equivalent of 50 cents – sometimes less.  It’s Vietnam’s fast food – call it McPho if you like.

Sometimes you have to be a bit adventurous with food when you travel.  I know none of us want to be hit with Montezuma’s revenge and trust me, I keep the Imodium and Gravol handy when I travel.  Perhaps however you might want to stretch the envelope a bit on your next trip and eat outside of your comfort zone …. But maybe leave out the grasshoppers.

By Lesley Keyter

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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