Urbanist Hanoi

[Video] Taiwan's Stinky Tofu Is Not a Dish for the Faint-Hearted

Like Southeast Asia’s slew of durian desserts, Taiwan’s stinky tofu dishes are an acquired taste.

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[Video] A Virtual Tour of Malaysia's Top-Notch Durian Plantation

Most people around here are familiar with the durian fruit and its unique smell; however, not many have actually been to a durian plantation.

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Opinion: Anthony Bourdain Made Me Proud to Be Vietnamese-American

I landed Friday night in Saigon just in time for the news of Anthony Bourdain’s passing lighting up my phone in a jumble of tweets, texts and news alerts. As details emerged about the chef-turned-travel show host’s apparent suicide at 61, an outpouring of grief and shock flooded the internet. I’m sure many of us will remember exactly where we were at the moment we learned of his death.

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American Chef Anthony Bourdain, Who Introduced Bún Chả to Obama, Passes Away at 61

Anthony Bourdain, the chef, writer and travel show host, has passed away at 61.

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A Brief History of Curry in Vietnam

It is well documented that southern Vietnam’s cuisine has been influenced by the French, but it is also undeniable that the fare has been influenced by another of France’s former colonial hubs: the port city of Pondicherry, India.

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New Cookbook 'Vegetarian Vietnam' Boldy Reinvents Traditional Classics

In his new cookbook Vegetarian Vietnam, Canadian chef Cameron Stauch boldly reinterprets traditional Vietnamese dishes while retaining their authenticity.

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The Evolution of Bánh Xèo: A Street Food History

While phở, bánh mì and now, occasionally, bún chả hog the spotlight in Vietnamese cuisine, everyone in Vietnam is familiar, to some degree, with bánh xèo. On street corners and in tiny, modest quán, the thin, savory rice flour pancake has earned its place among the pantheon of roadside Vietnamese fare. But as any upstanding street food diner will tell you, its dozens of variations mean that true appreciation of bánh xèo goes beyond the consumption of a single regional style.

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A Tale of Two Fruits: The Colonial History of Durian and Mangosteen

Although both durian and mangosteen are native to Southeast Asia, their reputation – especially from a western point of view – leads two very contrasting fates: the latter is considered a luscious delicacy while the former usually finds itself at the center of many insult-throwing contests.

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After Milk Tea-Flavored Water, Japan Now Has Transparent Coffee Because Why Not

So this is why scientists have been too busy to cure cancer, send a human to Mars or successfully bring Tasmanian tigers back from extinction?

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A Food Folk Tale: How a Poor Farmer Traded Starfruit for Gold

In Vietnam, fruits, especially those of the oddly shaped variety, come with a story. From pineapple to watermelon, there’s not a snack in this country that doesn’t come with a lesson attached. The juicy, yellow-green starfruit is no different.

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Prickly History: The Fruit That Tastes Like Heaven and Smells Like Hell

Despite its regal title — “the king of fruit” — durian’s taste and distinctive smell have long been a divisive topic among foodies the world over. Originally from the island of Borneo, through time, durian has gradually made most of Southeast Asia its home, from the streets of Thailand to family plantations in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta. Each of the region’s countries has its own tale, rooted in deep local folklore and history, of how the prickly fruit came to be. In Vietnam’s rendition, durian has a surprisingly romantic beginning as proof of a love that stood the test of time.

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