Food sits at the very centre of Vietnamese culture. Vietnamese cuisine traditionally features a combination of five fundamental taste elements, spicy, sour, bitter, salty and sweet. Common ingredients include fish sauce, shrimp paste, soy sauce, rice, fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables. Traditional Vietnamese cooking is known for its fresh ingredients, minimal use of oil, and reliance on herbs and vegetables, and is considered one of the healthiest cuisines worldwide. The Vietnamese are surprisingly modest about their cuisine. High-end restaurants may serve “Asian-fusion” cuisine, with elements of Thai, Japanese, and Chinese mixed in. The most authentic Vietnamese food is found at street side “restaurants” which are a collection of plastic outdoor furniture placed on the footpath. The national dish is pho, a broth soup with beef or chicken and rice noodles. Besides that there are spring roll, eel or snail vermicelli, crab fried with tamarind, crab sour soup, rice spaghetti, steamed rolls made of rice-flour, rice pancake folded in half (filled with a shrimp, meat and soya bean sprouts). If you like seafood, you may find heaven in Vietnam. The ultimate seafood experience is traveling to a seaside village or beach resort area in the south to try the local seafood restaurants that often serve shrimp, crab, and locally-caught fish.