One of the best ways to discover a new land - a completely strange country, is to taste its food. Food is often considered to be one representative of a nation’s culture on account of not only the signature taste but the story it carries. In such a culture-rich country as Vietnam, the heart of which is Hanoi, the originality of tradition is best expressed in the way Hanoi people put their soul in cooking. And for foreign tourists, a fulfilling experience at local Hanoi cooking class is of great importance…
1. A brief look into Hanoi cooking classes
Nowadays, most of the restaurants, hotels, and culinary establishments connect travel agencies to design a cooking curriculum for tourists all over the world in the experience of Hanoi culture. Basically, along with sightseeing and local daily life experiences, these businesses often design for tourists to have a meal at a restaurant to learn how to cook dishes with professional chefs and tour guides. After that, visitors will enjoy the food made by themselves. During the meal, guests are also introduced to the etiquette and eating etiquette of Hanoi people.
The dishes most often introduced to international guests are the most typical dishes, such as: vermicelli noodles, fish ball, banana flower salad, lotus root salad, Hanoi pho... These dishes do not take too long processing time but show the subtlety of spices and herbs usage. Before starting the cooking session, the guests can have the chance to go shopping for ingredients on their own.
Overall, attending a cooking class s a good way to learn about local culture by means of food. To offer the best cultural experience to tourists, local hosts should make sure that the traditional values are firmly instilled and passed on the guests in the most accessible way. It is a reason why foreign tourists should go for traditional restaurants instead of mass cooking centres, so that you can get the most authentic Vietnamese taste in everything you make, hear and see.
2. Popular types of cooking class in Hanoi
There are 3 ways you can participate in a Hanoi cooking class:
With cooking centres: they offer the most diverse options for you in terms of food, class capacity, class location,... Yet they focus more on cooking proficiency not culture so they are more popular with local people than foreign ones.
With restaurants in hotels: this way is convenient, since you can choose to learn cooking at your commodation. However, it has not been widespread so there are a limited number of hotels offering this service.
With local restaurants: this is the most recommended option, considering both the chef’s creditability and the guests’ cultural experience. Many chefs there are indeed talented storytellers, so the guests/ students can both learn about the techniques and discover the local myths.
At Lang Lieu, we expect our guests to have the most quality cooking time
3. Things to bear in mind when you intend to register a Hanoi cooking class
Who can join a cooking session? With no doubt, mature healthy people. Because of the fact that some kitchen equipment can be dangerous to careless children, injuries are predictable if they are not closely looked on. Yet if tourists insist, they can ask their cooking class hosts for permission of kids (if possible). In addition, the experience of cooking can be exhausting, making it unsuitable for those with health problems.
What should “students” prepare themselves?
A ready spirit: Only take part in a cooking class when you are fully interested in cooking generally, and Vietnamese food culture particularly. Make sure you are capable of executing basic cooking techniques, or else you will definitely lag far behind your “classmates”. It is advised that you equip yourself with certain knowledge on Vietnamese cuisine like the taste of the spices, etc. And finally, be ready to be tired, because cooking is truly a long experience. But it is worth all your time and effort in the end.
Notebook and pencil/ pen: It is important to take notes of your lecture for later practice, especially when it comes to cooking tips and interesting facts. So to make it easier and more fun practicing, try to record the reminders.
Be safe and clean: Whatever you do, pay attention to safety guidelines. Surely you do not want to get hurt when having an experience of a life-time. And of course, maintain hygiene so that your food is safe to eat, too!
In a nutshell, attending a local cooking class during your trip to a country is full of fun and meaning. At Lang Lieu cooking class, we are dedicated to delivering the same thing. We expect our guests to have the most quality cooking time, and also gain the deepest insight into Vietnamese culture through the traditional dishes.
Find out more about Lang Lieu cooking class here.