Steamed glutinous rice - the seven colors of Sapa food
With Nung people, Xoi Bay Mau (steamed rice with seven colors) is special food here. This dish is splendid with seven colors made from different natural leaves, including pink, vermilion, scarlet, bright green, yellow green, and banana leaf and yellow. Each color has its own meaning. According to history of Nung Din people, each color in this steamed glutinous rice is one color of each month in the struggle of Nung Din people lasting from January to July here. Banana leaf green is the color of spring, scarlet is the color of blood of people who died for Nung Din people’s struggle, yellow is the color of agonies, vermilion is the color of the magnanimous victory of Nung Din People, etc.
Skillful Nung women choose only the rice which has big, long seed. After that, they soak the rice in water about 12 hours and then soak again in colors about 3 hours. Next, rice is washed, put separately into a pot and cook about 1.5 to 2 hours. Attractive colors and smell, this Sapa food is really delicious and typical
Lon Cap Nach - “Carried-under-arm” pork
Lon Cap Nach or “carried-under-arm” pork is the specialty of Sapa. The pig is less than 10kg and free range, raised in the field or in the forest. The meat is fatless, tender and sweetish. Lon cap nach is usually grilled or roasted as the whole with a lot of herbs and spices. You will never forget the flavor of enjoying “carried-under-arm” pigs together with sipping a cup of Sapa wild cat apple wine. It is just simply the best of all Sapa foods.
With cool climate, Sapa supplies vegetables around Vietnam. Sapa’s specialties such as white and green cauliflower, red beetroot, and chayote squash in Sapa’s temperate climate. Boiled chayote squash is served with roasted and crushed sesame and salt used to lightly dip the pieces into.
While many of Sapa’s vegetables are sold throughout the country, the more delicate and most tasty varieties are only available in the markets of Sapa. One example of this is “ngong”, the local word for the budded stems of old and stunted vegetables. There are many kinds of ngong, such as the stems of garlic, cabbage, kohlrabi, and chayote. Ngong is best served fried
with garlic or various kinds of meat.
Successfully bred in Sapa, salmon and sturgeon are famous for its fresh and tasty flavor. A steaming hot pot of salmon served with an assortment of fresh vegetables and a cup of hot jasmine tea is a great way to warm up in the cold weather of Sapa.
Other Sapa food that are highly recommended are smoked sausages and fresh field mushrooms.