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.
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.