At the coffee shop the other day, I had my head in a book, the caffeine buzz whizzing my eyes across the lines and over the pages. I was tapping my foot, under a spell, completely transported from my bustling surroundings.
But something made me look up. It could've been an aggressive tone in someone's voice, wayward cigarette smoke wafting under my nose, or maybe an itch. I surveyed the scene, checking out my coffee drinking counterparts, leaving the protagonists in the book at an indelicate juncture.
And that's when I saw it, in the hand of a teen girl sitting just up from me.
Her glass contained an abstract swirl of red and white, congealed and bloody at the top, pale pinky milk lower down. I immediately ordered what she was having and went behind the scenes to see exactly what this exotic concoction was made of. A standard tub of sweet yoghurt is emptied over ice into the glass. From a large ornamental jar on a stem, a ladle of dark fruit steeped in syrup is lifted. On top of the yoghurt it goes.
The bleeding begins.
I examined the fruit thinking it is a berry of some sort. Tart to the taste, I asked the proprietor, who answered dau (strawberry). I say it is not. There was talk of silkworms. I put two and two together.
This joyous seasonal celebration of late spring is sua chua dau, mulberries with yoghurt.
37 Luong Van Can