Fish Sauce Factory

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Among the top things lớn bởi on Phu Quoc Island is paying a visit to lớn one of the famous fish sauce factories. Fish sauce is one of the key ingredients in Vietnamese cuisine & the products of Phu Quoc are considered some of the best of Vietphái nam.

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The enchanting smell of anchovies in a process of autolysis, which is the name for enzymatic self-digestion, indicates the proximity of a fish sauce factory on Phu Quoc Islvà. Usually you can get a peek through the doors và see the huge, wooden tanks, where the fish are slowly fermenting for months, until the clear liquid that accumulates on top, can be filtered và bottled.

Phu Quoc islvà is famous for traditionally produced, flavorful fish sauce, without the chemical additives. The most important ingredient is time. It takes between eight và nine months for the amber-colored liquid lớn be ready for sale.

Its relatively high content of natural glutamate adds an umami flavor to lớn dishes, the reason why it’s so popular in Vietnamese cuisine. During our stay at Phu Quoc island, we actually visited two fish sauce factories. One is called Phung Hung. It is on Nguyễn Văn Cừ street, right opposite Phu Quoc Prison. The other one, Khai Hoan, where we bought our supply of the tasty ingredient, is on 11 Hung Vuong street in Duong Dong.

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The latter is located at the riverside, where we could see one of the boats delivering the raw material - tons of anchovies in sea salternative text. Now, that might be a bit much to stomach for some travelers, but I found it pretty interesting.

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A lady runs a durian stall right outside the gates of the siêu thị, and where the smell of fermenting anchovies & durian mingles, that’s the place where even I was not really eager khổng lồ spkết thúc more time than necessary.

There is actually one more fish sauce factory that is accessible to lớn visitors, Hung Thinh, which is on 30 Thang 4 on Phu Quoc isl&.

If you want lớn get your supply of fish sauce, or nước mắm nam ngư how it’s called in Vietnamese, you can buy the best chất lượng at the showrooms and shops. (Be aware that many airlines don’t allow liquids in the h& baggage.) Here you see an assortment of nước mắm nam ngư at the siêu thị that is attached to the Knhị Hoan factory:

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They sell two grades of the delicious, amber-colored liquid. 40 & 43, which indicates the strength và saltiness of the concoction. The 43 grade fish sauce is more expensive, but lasts longer.

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If you are unsure what type of delicious Phu Quoc fish sauce to lớn purchase, you can try both of them first with disposable straws they provide at the desk.

Dip your straw inkhổng lồ the nước mắm và taste it (just don’t suông chồng in the liquid through the straw…).

At first it may sound odd. Why should pay VND 99,000 or VND 155,000 for a big bottle of nước mắm, if you can get the same amount for VND 39,700 at the local supermarket? The Phu Quoc fish sauce is the real thing. Anchovies, salternative text và that’s it. No preservatives, no additional flavors, food coloring or artificial MSG. It’s not only healthier than the enhanced stuff, it also tastes much more balanced.

Did you know that the Vietnamese were not the only culture to invent fish sauce? The Romans actually had a similar condiment, called garum or liquamen. In Campimãng cầu in Italy, they still produce a type of fish sauce, called colatura di alici.

Similar to modern Phu Quoc fish sauce, garum was made through the process of autolysis, but they only used the blood & intestines of fish, while in Vietphái mạnh, they use whole anchovies. Garum was very popular, because it contained a good amount of minerals, proteins và amino acids, as well as B vitamins. But many Romans found it disgusting.

The Roman Stoic philosopher Seneca wrote: “Do you not realize that garum sociorum, that expensive sầu bloody mass of decayed fish, consumes the stomach with its salted putrefaction?”

But Seneca was known as quite old-fashioned, so the garum-lovers probably didn’t care much.

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And similar to lớn ancient Rome, the people nowadays have divided opinions about nước mắm nam ngư. Some love it, some hate it, but for most Vietnamese it’s just what generations of housewives used lớn create the Vietnamese signature dishes. Vietnamese fish sauce is usually used as a dipping sauce, a set of nước mắm, lime or kumquat juice, sugar, chili and/or garlic và water.

Enjoy!

Addresses of fish sauce factories on Phu Quoc islvà, that are accessible for tourists:

Phung Hung