Apparently almost all tours of the Mekong make this requisite stop at a snack factory on the river. Not everyone was thrilled with this stop but anything to do with food and I’m hooked!
Making a huge rice paper wrapper by swirling around the rice slurry on a stretched cooking surface.
There’s a real knack to lifting up the rice wrapper/paper once it has cooked.
The rice ‘paper’ is laid down on woven bamboo to dry.Here they were making caramel over a fire fuelled by the left-over rice husks, a clever way to re-use waste products.The caramel was cut into squares and packaged.Puffed rice strips. Both rice and these rice flour strips were puffed in a wok filled with very hot black sand, an amazing sight to watch. Once everything was puffed the cook strained off the black sand into the wok leaving a basket of puffed rice without a single grain of sand in it.Slicing up a tray of puffed rice sweets.
Packaged with nuts and other goodies, these strips were turned into either savoury or sweet treats.We were served tea with a variety of sweets: the same puffed rice with a syrup coating along with dried fruits and other nibbles.Once we were filled up with sweets they led us out to meet the hungry SNAKE!We survived the snake but I wasn’t so sure whether I would survive the snake wine!In fact, there was a wide selection of wines with embedded snakes. I guess you could say that these snakes didn’t survive the wine either!When she saw these mini-bottles of snake wine the woman next to me exclaimed, “Wouldn’t that be a great present for the kids!” I gave her an odd look and she explained, “The grandkids, they’ll love it!” I wasn’t sure how old these kids were but the woman was thwarted in her gift-giving plans when she was advised that the US did not allow such things into the country.Cobratox Cream made from cobra venom.
More on our December 2013 trip to Vietnam.