Bowled over by a bowl of rice

The aro­matic rice of north­ern Ñieän Bieân Prov­ince has a unique fra­grance that takes the hum­ble sta­ple food to the level of a taste sen­sa­tion.

Outlook - - FOOD - By An Vuõ

Anewly dis­patched re­porter to Ñieän Bieân Prov­ince, Nguyeãn Vaên Thanh says he will never for­get the first time he tried a bowl of lo­cal rice.

"It looked like or­di­nary rice but the taste was un­for­get­table," he re­calls.

"My host was sur­prised be­cause I left the rest of my food and just ate the rice with se­same seeds. I ate slowly to savour ev­ery last mouth­ful."

The north­ern prov­ince is not only fa­mous for the bat­tles at Ñieän Bieân Phuû, it's also renowned for its aro­matic rice.

I trav­elled to the prov­ince to sam­ple the famed rice for my self.

"The rice you are eat­ing orig­i­nated from Thanh An and Thanh Xöông com­munes which pro­duce some of the best rice in Ñieän Bieân," says Haø Duy Bieân, my host and owner of Thanh Bieân, a lo­cal rice store.

Lo­cated in Thanh An Com­mune, the store is pop­u­lar among lo­cals. Fol­low­ing Bieân into the store, we see piles of rice bags heaped in an un­tidy moun­tain.

He says the com­mune's abun­dant ir­ri­ga­tion and plen­ti­ful rain­fall make the soil softer, which re­sults in more aro­matic rice.

"Ñieän Bieân rice has a spe­cific milky colour. It's not very eye­catch­ing, but it tastes de­li­cious. It's

Haø Duy Bieân, owner of Thanh Bieân rice store, says the lo­cal soil and cli­mate give the rice grown in Ñieän Bieân a spe­cial flavour.

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