Vietnam has a good number of exotic dishes that would be a challenge for most travelers to try. There’s the boiled duck embryo, chicken feet, frog, dog meat, fermented shrimp paste noodles and so on. Then there’s the favorite, snails or locally known as oc. For foodies, Vietnamese Snail Dish: Is it really a Must-try?
Vietnamese love eating snails not just because they are delicious but also it is also part of their culture. For locals, eating snails means more time to socialize with friends and family. Snails are usually served with cold beer, a perfect combination. Youngsters also go out and get a bowl or 2 of this delicious dish and partners it with either Coca-cola or Red Bull instead of beer.
Most tourists would think that Vietnam adopted this snail eating culture from French colonial era but little did they know that eating snail dishes craze has been happening long before that. The farmers in the highlands get their golden apple snails from their rice paddies. Too much snails on the field is actually bad for the crop. To protect their crops, farmers take away the snails and some actually bring them home. Mind you, snails are healthy as they are rich in protein. While people in most coastal areas in the country love to eating their sea snails, picking them up from the shore is easier than fishing.
If you are feeling a little more adventurous on the local food in Hue? Try some freshly cooked spicy snails. They are usually being sold in Dong Ba Market early in the morning. You can also find them in stalls next to local markets or at the Night Market below the Truong Tien Bridge in the late afternoon. Or you book a Hue Food Tour to try it in the best restaurant in town.