Part of our tour included interactive field trips to local artisans and local living. On the first day, we stopped by 3 of the 4 islands in the Ben Tre Province: Tortoise Island, Unicorn Island, and Phoenix Island (The fourth island is called Dragon Island). On each island we tasted local treats and saw how they were all made with the most natural ingredients.
This one of the Ben Tre Province's most notable products, and it is made in just a few steps.
Grating the Coconut Meat
Producing Coconut Milk
Heating the Coconut Milk
Creating Fire with Coconut Shells
Simmering the Candy
60% Coconut Milk, 25% Sugar, 15% Malt
Fresh Coconut Candy
Molding to Wrapping
The candy is molded on this metal sheet which is lined with rice paper (the kind of rice paper from that Japanese sticky candy). It is then cut and wrapped.
Another notable Vietnamese food item is their rice paper. It is typically eaten with entrees as a wrapper. Here at this food station, we learned it can also be flavored and eating like chips.
Grinding the Rice
Cooking the Rice Mixture
Forming the Rice Paper
Cooling the Rice Paper
Varieties of Flavors
Onion, Barbecue, and Plain
Packaging for Sale
Fresh Candied Ginger
At this small station, a lady was cooking fresh batches of ginger candy.
Fresh Candied Coconut
Another use of coconut.
Pineapple, Dragon Fruit, Grape Fruit, Papaya, and Chico. While enjoying the songs of local folk singers, we were given plates of fresh fruits.
Honey and Tea
Bees products, such as this honey, are also produced in this area. We mixed it with our lotus tea.
I love my alcohol...but not that much. These wines were enhanced with snakes, scorpions, etc. My imagination runs wild with what could happen to me if I drank a sip.
Nicely Presented in the Coconut. We tried a little sip, and, wow, it's pretty strong. I found it smoother than the Filipino Lambanog.