Vietnamese students invited to experience Taiwanese culinary culture at a banquet in Taipei yesterday said the boisterous event reminded them of home.
About 250 Vietnamese studying at 23 universities around the nation were invited to experience the local bando culture, which involves clamorous eating around a round table in an outdoor space, at the event organized by the Vietnam Economic and Cultural Office in Taipei.
Lavish dishes such as kiln-cooked chicken marinated in Chinese herbs, braised leg of pork, red crab served with glutinous rice and “Buddha Jumps Over the Wall” — a casserole known for its rich flavor and use of high-quality ingredients — were served to the students.
“Gourmet dining is important in promoting tourism, increasing people’s understanding of each other and pushing for closer ties between Vietnam and Taiwan,” cultural office representative Bui Trong Van said.
He said his office invited the students to the banquet so that they could learn more about Taiwanese dishes and to urge them to promote Vietnamese food on their campuses.
Nguyen Tran Phuong Lien, a 28-year-old public administration major, said Taiwanese-style banquets are very interesting and similar to those in Vietnam, adding that such feasts are often held in her home country to celebrate weddings.
She said she was excited to come to the event and make new Vietnamese friends.
Nguyen Khac Tri, a 29-year-old business-management graduate student, said Taiwanese food has heavier flavors than Vietnamese food and that he enjoys it very much.
“I not only like it, I like it very much,” Nguyen said, laughing, adding that the braised leg of pork had made a special impression on him.
Such outdoor banquets, often held in tents, are usually organized to celebrate weddings, funerals, local elections, temple festivals and other special events.