• Hue royal meal, exceptional heritage of Vietnamese cuisine
  • Hue royal meal, exceptional heritage of Vietnamese cuisine

  • on Oct 1, 2019       By: Bảo Ngọc
  • The heritage of Hue is not limited to the beautiful imperial palaces and tombs constituting the imperial city of Hue recognized by UNESCO. His fame also owes to a whole series of culinary traditions inherited from the royal court of Hue. With a flourishing during more than a century of the reign of the emperors of Nguyen, the royal cuisine is known for an exceptional refinement, ranging from preparation to tasting through the presentation. The culinary art is the right word to describe it, hence the curiosity of culture and gastronomy lovers make them want to visit Hue city.

    While a royal meal of Hue is not far from the ordinary ingredients,  it is distinguished by a surprising subtlety, a strict procedure and a sophisticated presentation. To every lord, every honor, every dish found in the royal tables of Hue is reminiscent of a work of aesthetics. In addition, the recipes served there must be particularly delicious while presenting the important benefits for health.

    royal meal of hue in vietnamese culinary decoration

    On the seasoning side, this stage alone deserves irreproachable attention in this regal culinary philosophy. The chef must take care to season the dish, not once as usual, but not less than three and even four times, to quote marinade in the beginning, ending of the cooking and the presentation of the dish. This gestural rigor aims, according to gourmets, to ensure the best flavors of the dish so it can be served the emperors and mandarins of yesteryear.

    The royal cuisine of Hue does not lack ceremonial that intervenes in choice of ingredients, preparation, service, dishes, decoration... Speaking of the range of choice, there are between 35 and 50 different dishes in a meal of kings Minh Mang, Dong Khanh and Khai Dinh. Among the delights of the king, some use very rare ingredients. This is a collection of eight precious dishes namely peacock imperial pies, phoenix patties, rhino skin, bear's hand, sambar deer’s tendon, orang-utang lip, elephant foot meat and nest of salangane.

    There are traditional recipes whose secrets are handed down from generation to generation, but also the exotic flavors incorporated by the foreign ambassadors.

    royal meal of hue in vietnamese culinary presentation

    Reconstitution of a royal meal of Hue

    Of objective order, one distinguishes the different types of feasts corresponding to the particular occasions of the royal life, for example meals of worship for an important ceremony, reception banquet of mandarins, ambassadors, new doctors... 

    Speaking of scale, a large banquet has up to 161 dishes versus 50 for a distinguished feast. A vegetarian feast reserved for religious offerings consists of 25 dishes. The dessert in royal cuisine of Hue has to include 12 different dishes.

    royal meal of hue in vietnamese culinary at the table

    At the level of style, the meal served to King Gia Long seems the most moderate while that of King Dong Khanh is so hearty with 50 dishes prepared by 50 cooks of the royal family.

    Have you ever admired the elaborately carved vegetables and fruits that make the reputation of the hue peoples? Top of the cream, a royal meal of Hue is deliciously enjoyed by the eyes and the nose before the mouth.

    Suffice to say that a little tour reconstituting the tables of the kings of Nguyen will make you experience a unique and memorable taste experience. This activity is appreciated by many lovers of Vietnam and the imperial city of Hue in particular.

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    >> Hue Imperial city - A to Z Travel guide

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