Being next to the ocean and having many fiddler crab, Go Cong district in Tien Giang province is famous for Fermented shedder fiddler crab (or Mam cong lot) – a specialty food of the district as well as the entire Mekong Delta. Mam cong lot is distinctively rich, tasty, sour, hot, salty, and smelling.
The harvesting season of shedder fiddler crab is in May. Local people catch them along banks of rivers and channels. Shedder fiddler crabs are washed and kneaded with garlic and chili pepper. The mixture is put into a jar, then a little wine is added to the jar to make the dish smell and taste better. Dry the jar under the sun for 3 days, then separate the broth and the fiddler crabs, dry the broth until thickened, mix the crabs with the thickened broth. Mam cong lot can be store until 3 months in a freezer. To eat, mix Mam cong lot with lime juice, pineapple, sugar, garlic, and chili pepper. The mixture is usually eaten with steamed rice, vegetables and herbs. Instead of steamed rice, dinner can eat with rice paper and rice noodles. Fermented shedder fiddler crab has strange, delicious taste and fragrant which impress people for the first time.
In Go Cong, there are about 20 Cha Fermented Shrimp Paste factories, each has its own recipe to make this dish. The products are not enough to sell because there are not enough wild shrimps and it takes time, hard work, patience, and experience to make Cha Fermented Shrimp Paste. The shrimps must be caught in the wild, fresh and the same types and have lots of roes, the sunlight must be strong, the jar of Mam Tom Cha must be clean and covered tightly, spices must be enough.
Shrimps are washed, seasoninged, kneaded, filterd, dried under the sun and left at room temperature to make Cha fermented shrimp paste. Mam Tom Cha must be thickened, well-kneaded, smooth, light red and smelling. The best way to eat Mam Tom Cha is eating with thin boiled pig armpits slices, rice noodles, vegetables (green bananas, star-fruits, cucumbers) and herbs (culantro). Put a little white, tender, and a little chewy rice noodles into a bowl, then fresh and aromatic vegetables, herbs, then pink boiled pork slice. At last, top the bowl with Mam Tom Cha which mix all of the others to create a great dish which melt in dinner’s mouth. Local people love to drink some Go Den wine while eating this amazing dish.
Banana mixed with shredded coconut meat is usually eaten as a snack. It has been favorite of many people thanks to great taste, fulfillment, comfort, and rich-nutrition. The banana should be green apple banana which is going to be ripening, full, plump and have smooth skin. The coconut should have brown skin so that its meat is sweet and not too hard.
Bananas are soaked in water, boiled, cooled down, mixed with shredded coconut meat, sugar, salt and well-kneaded. The food is served on a plate and topped with crushed peanuts. They usually eat Chuoi quet dua with herbs, rice papers and sweet-sour dipping fish sauce made from fish sauce, lime, garlic, chili pepper. To eat, dinner uses a rice paper to wrap the others into a square, then dip in the fish sauce dip. It is a perfect blend of sticky banana, sweet sugar, greasy and buttery coconut meat, crunchy crushed peanuts, fresh herbs, sticky rice paper, tender and a little chewy rice noodles, sweet and sour dip.
The sweet soup is one of must-eat dishes on your trip to Tan Trung commune, Go Cong, Tien Giang. There are 7 ingredients which are used to make this sweet dish are sugar, mung bean, “thach” bean, peanut, tapioca starch, coconut cream, pandan leaf. Each kind of bean/peanut is cooked in a different way and put separately. Mung beans are cooked, well-kneaded, mixed with pandan juice and sugar water to receive the buttery, tender, smooth mung bean paste. “Thach” beans which are grown in the sand in Tan Trung commune are cooked with sugar in a special way to make very strangely buttery beans. Peanuts are roasted, then coated with tapioca starch. To serve, the seller put well-kneaded, sticky mung bean paste; tender, sweet cooked “thach” beans; roasted crunchy peanuts in sticky, a little chewy tapioca starch into a glass. Then top with greasy coconut sauce, crushed peanuts. The sweet soup could be served hot or cold.
15. Sugar-preserved coconut meat
It is a kind of Mut made from meat of mature brown coconut, sugar and food color made from vegetables. Candied Coconut Ribbon is medium-sweet, chewy and smelling. To make this food, coconut meat is sliced into thin strips. When eating people pick one by one strip, chew slowly, feel to the taste in the mouth. Sugar-preserved coconut meat is chosen by many families for Tet because its great taste, easy recipe and easy to find ingredient – coconut which is grown everywhere around Vietnam, especially Mekong Delta. Coffee, pandan leave, magenta plant, amaranth, carrot… are used to make the Sugar-preserved coconut meat colorful.
16. Lo Ren star apple
Since the beginning of 20th century, Lo Ren star apple in Vinh Kim commune, Chau Thanh district, Tien Giang province is famous around Vietnam for its great taste and smell which are different from others of this kind in the country. Lo Ren star apple has thin skin, small seeds, thick flesh, round shape. Especially, the juicy and light sweet Lo Ren star apple makes dinner refreshing when eating.
17. Nhi Quy longan
Nhi Quy commune, Cai Lay district, Tien Giang province is known as the kingdom of longan. The longan which is grown on this land is big and has thin skin, thick flesh, small seed, and very attractive fragrant.
18. Trung Luong plum
Some people say that Trung Luong plum was named after a famous song “Trung Luong” composed by Vien Chau artist and performed by Dieu Hien artist. Others say that it was named after Trung Luong crossroads. The plum is very juicy, crunchy and lightly sweet.
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