Discovering Gastronomy on Dong Van Karst Plateau

1:39:59 PM | 8/31/2015

Dong Van Karst Plateau stretches over four upland districts of Ha Giang province, including Quan Ba, Yen Minh, Dong Van and Meo Vac. This is famous not only for its beautiful landscapes, unique festivals and traditions but also for its charismatic culinary cultures. Many dishes on Dong Van Karst Plateau are very delicious, typical of mountain tastes.
Dried buffalo meat is a marvel for anyone who tries it. The method of dried buffalo meat processing represents the ingenuity and gourmet of ethnic minorities. To make this specialty, the best meat of buffalo is sliced into pieces. Marinating is a unique secret. Marinated buffalo meat is not dried but soaked back and forth into a boiling pot which contains spices, mainly salt and herbs (roasted and crushed). Soaked buffalo meat is infused with spices. Then, it is hung on hangers above the cooking stove. The meat will shrink considerably after three months and dried after five months. Dried buffalo meat can be sliced thinly and cooked with ginger and garlic leaves. But, the most delicious taste is obtained in dried buffalo meat buried in hot charcoals for five minutes. The meat, usually torn into small pieces, is very fragrant, sweet and chewy. The longer we chew, the more special taste we feel. Thang Co is a must-eat specialty dish when you visit Dong Van Karst Plateau. Thang Co is a soup primarily made from internal organs of animals like buffalo, horse and goat. The dish is interesting not only in ingredients and cooking methods, but also in the way we eat it. Thang Co ingredients include entire internal organs, heads, legs, skin, tendons, blood (buffalo, horse or goat), which are simmered with herbs (must have cardamom and Talauma grains). Thang Co is served with bowl and eaten hot. Corn wine is typically served with Thang Co.
A single food may be processed into different dishes if ingredients and additives are different. Perch sauce of Tay people is a specialty cooked with more than 10 types of herbs. Perch is cleaned, descaled, mixed with salt, wine, galangal and other leaves and kept in air-tight jars in 2-3 years. The perch sauce is cooked and served with cooked rice and boiled shoots. This exotic delicious dish is only found in Dong Van. The rock plateau is home to a special plant called mint which thrives among the rocks. Violet mint flower is a source of food for bees. The honey produced by these bees is called mint honey. The lightly yellow honey is very delicious and good for health as it helps treat a variety of digestive and respiratory diseases. Tasting mint honey from the hive is an unforgettable experience for any tourist.
In any season of the year, tourists not only admire the panoramic beauty of the rocky plateau but also enjoy the flavour of locally characteristic cuisines. The taste of Thang Co soup, dried buffalo meat with maize wine, perch sauce with boiled shoots, and mint honey will be an unforgettable experience for any tourist.

Thanh Nga