Pasalubongs We Picked up in Ho Chi Minh That Are as Tasty as They Are Beautifully PackagedMarch 28, 2017
The largest city in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh is a treasure of sights, sounds and tastes. We had a delicious time loosening our belt buckles to both fascinating street eats and Instagram-worthy restaurants, but when it was time to bid the final city goodbye we couldn’t help but want to bring a taste of Saigon home with us.
Though Vietnam is likely best known for its aromatic coffee that is roasted in butter to give it its distinct rich taste (and trust us, we got at least 5 kilos worth collectively), we want to share with you the most standout gifts that are as tasty as they are beautifully packaged and perfect for bringing home as pasalubong. Your friends will thank you for the Instagram likes.
MAROU bean-to-bar chocolate
As we learned in last month’s in-depth look at chocolate, a high percentage of chocolate does not necessarily correlate to bitterness. That certainly applies to local bean-to-bar chocolate Marou. We picked up 4 different types whose pure chocolate percentages were all 70% and up, but even the most pure one (at 78%) had an approachable, mellow flavor. In fact, the percentage seemed to hardly guide the flavor at all as each bar offers its own distinct taste. The texture isn’t quite gritty, and isn’t quite creamy, and maybe it’s just us but we liked where it was going.
SAIGON CHARLIE’S SWEET & SPICY
This hot sauce brand came in three flavors and heat levels but being Filipinos, we had to go for the sweet and spicy (that’s sweetened with a touch of honey and rates at a medium level of spice). We were a bit disappointed on their spice rating, because upon trying it, we would rate its spice non-existent. But what they lack in spice, they make up in flavor. If you are like some people who power through the pain of hot sauce for the unparalleled flavor of chilis, this is the hot sauce for you.
DOMAINE MORERE’s COFFEE FLOWER HONEY
Morere offers a coffee flower honey, which from it’s name you can likely guess is harvested in hives that thrive by coffee farms. We were lucky to grab a small pot of it given its limited harvesting season (January to April only).The honey has a sweet floral taste that mingles with a tart citrus. We could only grab a small pot of it during our visit, but a small pot is all we could afford of this pricey product. Next time we’re around during the harvest season, we’ll be sure to save up for a bigger jar.
STONEHILL’s COCOA CIDER
Stonehill’s cacao nibs are extremely moist with a remarkable depth and robustness in flavor—chewier and with a thicker mouthfeel than the nibs we have encountered locally. But we were really captivated by their cocoa cider. As expected with ciders, the flavor of the cocoa cider is very bright; it has a dry chocolate taste with a bit of grit. For those who love to discover new alcoholic drinks, Stonehill serves up something tasty, distinct, and quality.