Ca Mau cattails
Ca Mau – the southernmost land of Vietnam has a history of more than 300 years. Ca Mau is a young land growing and developing day by day. Unique natural resources and honest, open-minded and liberal Ca Mau people make the “brand” of Ca Mau Cape, which is simple but contains a great love for the country. Ca Mau have abundant specialities, namely honey, dried shrimp, dried fish, sea crabs, three-striped crab, cattails, etc.
Ca Mau cattails has been certified as the collective trademark “Cai Nuoc-Ca Mau Cattails” by the National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam. Not only in Cai Nuoc district, cattails are present in the districts and flooded areas in the province. Therefore, cattails are very close to Ca Mau people and contribute to promoting the culinary culture of the southernmost land of Vietnam.
The appearance time of cattails has not known. It is said that it has existed in nature for a long time and strongly developed in the districts of Cai Nuoc, Tran Van Thoi, U Minh and Thoi Binh. In the past, cattails was only used in the family meal of Ca Mau farmers but now it has high economic efficiency and becomes a local produce popular with tourists. Cattails has “transformed itself” into a specialty of retaining visitors to Ca Mau Cape.
On the journey along the National Highway 1A to Ca Mau-Cai Nuoc- Nam Can, tourists will be surprised at the peaceful countryside. From a far distance, the two roadsides are the green stretched cattails fields like the immerse rice fields. There are many households directly supplying fresh cattails and pickled cattails for visitors to use as gifts for relatives in the tour to the southernmost land of Vietnam.
Cattails are a kind of clean food that can be processed into a variety of dishes such as sour soup, hot pot, fried shrimp, pickled cattails. The most special dish is probably pickled cattails. Light sour, crispy and fragrant pickled cattails served with tilapia, pineapple fish cooked with sauce, salted fish hotpot or chinese braised pork, etc is very delicious dishes popular with many visitors.
To make delicious pickled cattails, cut off the long leaves of cattails, retain the root from 25-30cm, separate the inner core, use rice water, add salt and sugar. Water, salt and sugar addition is the most important, which is considered as the secret of making pickled cattails. Then heat this mixture, let it cool and then take cattails prepared in and wait for about 2 days before use.
Visit Ca Mau once to enjoy this produce. Those who have ever enjoyed it will never forget it and for Ca Mau people who are far away from hometown, cattails will forever be a food associated with childhood and containing the rustic and close flavor and the great love for their hometown.
Cattails is also called Thuy huong (Thuy: water; huong: incense) because its flower is like the incense stick in the water. The scientific name of cattails is Typha angustifolia and belongs to the family of Typhaceae. Cattails often grow in lowland with a large amount of salted alkaline soil and belongs to the reed family, grows in the water at the depth of up to 1.5 m.
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