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The most striking part about this post for me, was where you mentioned the fresh herbs are flown in from the south every two days. Which is where this type of roll is best enjoyed; especially in the rural areas, where the variety of greens accompanied it are fresh and often available for picking within arm's reach.
This maybe an oddity for your Western readers, but it's the herbs&veggie basket which is the center piece of this dish, not the cuts of pork. The variety of accompanying "herbage" can get really wild in the southern part of Vietnam: with mango shoots, ginger shoots, and water hyacinth shoots being ones I could think of.


Oh, how delicious. The fresh herbs are what we must miss out on most, eating foreign cuisines. While rice paper, noodles, sauces and the like can be imported, the herbs cannot be replicated, especially here in Australia with strict quarantine laws.

Here in Melbourne, iceberg lettuce, spearmint, and laksa leaf predominate herb platters. Occasionally you get lucky with mustard greens, rice paddy herb, and perilla leaf.


TNB - thanks for your insight...glad that I can enjoy some southern dishes in Hanoi. I actually saw a Hanoi branch of the famous Nha Trang nem nuong restaurant - yet to check it out.

FootscrayFB - annoying, those quarantine laws. Thought there might've been more variety of herbs in Melbourne these days?

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