A Tasy Tour Of Hanoi Pate

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Though pâté is originally a French word, it has become part of the Vietnamese vocabulary and is broken into two single-syllable words: pa tê. 


Nguyên Sinh siêu thị in hà nội thủ đô offers French traditional charcuterie with different types of hams và cured meat, và pâtéof course. —Photo courtesy of the shop

 

Though pâté is originally a French word, it has become part of the Vietnamese vocabulary & is broken into two single-syllable words: page authority tê. 

It was first known as a filling for bread with ham and cured meat, but over time, pa cơ has become a dish of its own, served with other Vietnamese staples such as sticky steamed rice for breakfast or white rice as a main course. 

Over the past few months of complete or partial lockdown, stocking up on a box or two of pa cơ has been the choice of many people in the cities.

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With French-style bakeries opening in almost every neighbourhood, buying bread or cooking up some rice to be served with pa tê and making a variety of bánh mì (baguette) can be fun and gratifying. 

Hà Nội has its own array of pa tê distinguishable from its sister in the port đô thị of Hải Phòng. The pa kia in hà thành is always well blended, and the texture & flavour are different even though every outlet says its flavour is French. 

Maybe the French connection makes for better marketing, but the French pâté I have tried is nothing like what we gọi pa cơ at home. 

Nguyên Sinh pa cơ is always very fine, and it doesn"t have a trắng piece of pork lard on đứng đầu of the box. Available in three sizes (VNĐ105,000, 140,000 và 210,000), it"s too smooth for my taste. It is perhaps suitable for smaller children & the elderly, spread on toast rather than stuffed in a baguette. 

Established in 1942, Nguyên Sinh"s pa cơ has its own clientele, faithful to lớn the house & its taste.

"This shop sells the most expensive bánh mì in Hà Nội," said a customer. "My grandmother is in her 90s, but she has a connoisseur"s palate. She only likes smooth pa tê of Nguyên Sinh." 

A bánh mỳ pa tê costs VNĐ60,000 to VNĐ90,000, and unless you"re a frequent customer or a tourist, the average local will not spend so much as there are other cheaper options. You cannot say which one is better when it comes lớn taste. It"s just different.

FRENCH TRADITION: pa tê, finely ground pork and liver, serves well as a stuffing for Vietnamese crispy loaves. — Photo courtesy of the shop

Of all the online food orders I made last summer, the pa tê from phòng bếp An Nhiên kitchen was the one that my family liked best. Ground meat và liver blend well in the mixture, but it"s not too refined khổng lồ melt on your palate.

If you set some pork paste, cinnamon-flavoured pork paste, a dash of butter, a few dried pork shreds, and a pinch of salt và pepper, topped with a fresh cucumber slice and a few coriander leaves on top, you can make your own to your liking. 

One of the most famous shops selling bánh mỳ pa tê is on Phố Huế Street, but they don"t sell the pa kia on its own. If you want more of their page authority tê, you have to lớn buy their sandwiches and tell them lớn double the amount. This, of course, doubles the price.

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Bánh mỳ Phố Huế is a signature name in the city, và people have lớn stand in line lớn get it.

You are not likely khổng lồ get much of a smile from the sisters who make the sandwiches. Some might even say they have a bit of an attitude. But again, some vendors in street food shops have a notoriously gruff attitude.

If you are desperate lớn avoid such grumpiness when buying your favourite food, shopping online is best. 

MEAT UP: Carefully packed inglass jars,Ông Dương pa cơ caters to lớn a wider variety of palates. — Photo courtesy of the shop

Such shops tend lớn hire younger people who converse in a soft way, calling themselves em or cháu and addressing the customers as cô chú bác & chị (aunt, uncle, brother or sister) in a more respectful way. So when you shop online, you feel you"re being treated well for spending your money on their products.

Though you are feeling flattered into thinking you"re the boss, the person chatting with you could be a retired man in his 60s helping his wife"s trang chủ kitchen sell food. But it works!

At Ông Dương, the owner Mr Dương, says that he"s the only shop that offers beef và goose liver pâté, with a French connection, of course.

Located on Hà Nội"s hàng Bè Street, where some of the city"s most famous traditional food has been sold for years, Ông Dương"s faithful clientele seems stable and continually growing. 

The pâté here is of the French variety, ideal lớn try with bread and sticky or regular steamed rice. 

When it comes to lớn buying a good range of pâté (or page authority tê), Hà Nội will surely not let you down.