Can Tho specialties

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“Cheap, Healthful, Delicious” Traditional Drinks in Can Tho
Date: 25/03/2019

People in big cities nowadays enjoy a wide variety of drinks such as coffee, bubble tea, smoothies, fruit juice and bottled ones. However, among them are simple and fresh folk drinks which you can easily buy at almost every local market along small alleys in every corner of the city. You can also enjoy these drinks at the yearly Southern Folk Cakes Festival in Can Tho.

1. Rễ tranh, mía lau (kunai grass roots and dwarf sugarcane tea)

This drink is made from boiling kunai grass roots and sugarcane in water. To make it slightly sweet, people add a little of rock sugar, cool it and serve it cold. According to oriental herbalists, the roots taste sweet and are considered as yin, which helps to release inner heat and blood stagnation, to enable excretion and to detoxify lungs. This flavorful, cool and cheap tea is loved by a great number of people, especially, students.

2. Mủ gòn, hột é (silk cotton tree latex and basil seeds drink)

It is another antipyretic drink in hot summer. Silk cotton tree latex is the thick liquid from its trunk with sweet taste and yin nature. Oriental medicine states that it helps relieve inner heat, detoxify your organs, quench thirst and boost laxative effect and excretion. The other ingredient is tiny basil seeds, fruits of withered basil flowers. When soaked into water, they get bigger and are served as a thirst quencher. Mix these two ingredients together, add some sugar and ice, then you can enjoy a unique local drink.

3. Sương sa hột lựu (Rainbow tapioca pearls and grass jelly dessert)

This wonderful cold sweet soup has sweet-smelling and is rich with colorful ingredients such as grass jelly, mung bean paste, jelly, coconut milk (fresh), sugared water, particularly, tapioca pearls made from water chestnuts and flour.

4. Sâm bổ lượng (Ching bo leung)

In hot weather, this cool refreshing soup will energize you immediately. The combination of various ingredients makes it a delicious and antipyretic refreshment with great medicinal benefits, namely, heat relief, mental function boost and health improvement. These benefits are attributed to medical ingredients recognized in the oriental medicine such as dried longans, Chinese red dates, lotus seeds, pearl barley, snow fungus, seaweed, maidenhair tree seeds and so on. They help you recover from depression, sleep well and enhance your memory. This soup is not as sweet as others. In fact, its subtle sweetness comes from the dates and dried longans. As you taste it, you can feel the natural smell of various ingredients in sugared water at your tongue tip.

5. Rau má dừa or Rau má đậu xanh (pennywort juice with coconut or with blended mung beans):

In oriental medicine, pennywort tastes bitter and slightly sweet. It enables to detoxify, excrete and benefit the liver, especially in scotching weather. In addition, pennywort contains a lot of minerals and vitamins. When you add fresh coconut or blended mung beans, the juice becomes a delicious and nutritious thirst quencher in summer.

6. Nước mía (Sugar cane juice):

Squeeze sugar cane, add some ice cubes and then enjoy it. Apart from saccharose, sugar cane juice contains a lot of calcium, chromium, cobalt, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. It provides iron, vitamins A, C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 along with phytonutrients, antioxidant, protein and essential soluble fiber for your body. Therefore, not only is sugar cane juice a thirst quencher on hot days but also a tonic and an energy supplement. Besides, it prevents fatigue, detoxifies the kidney and also reduces constipation.

7. Dừa tắc (Coconut with kumquat):

This beverage is quite simple but fresh and appealing. The combination of the slightly sweet coconut and the tart kumquat is cool and refreshing, which is appropriate for refreshing yourself in summer. One tip to make a good drink is to choose slightly sweet coconut water because its taste will become much nicer in combination with some kumquat juice.

8. Sâm dừa (Herbal tea with coconut):

This is one simple combination of herbal tea and fresh coconut milk with some coconut flesh. It is a favorite drink of students in Can Tho due to its coolness, slight sweetness, fragrance and reasonable price. A 30-year-old stall of Mr. and Mrs. Sau located at Hoa Binh Boulevard is popular among teenagers in Can Tho.


Source: Translated by Diep Truong

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