French ambassador to Vietnam Jean-Noël Poirier has proved that he is a connoisseur of Vietnamese cuisine, after spending three years in the country.
Poirier told Tuoi Tre he usually cooks phở (rice noodle with beef soup) at home with fresh ingredients from wet markets.
The food loving ambassador has also been spotted at popular street food stalls in Hanoi, joining locals for various Vietnamese dishes, including his favorites phở and bún đậu mắm tôm.
Bún đậu mắm tôm, or rice noodle with shrimp paste, fried tofu and a variety of herbs, is an impressive dish which can win over many foodies as long as they have enough courage to try the raw, smelly paste.
To Poirier, that is a very addictive flavor, which in a way is quite similar to a kind of special cheese in his native country.
He told Tuoi Tre that many of his French guests have also enjoyed the dish.
He added that the traditional Vietnamese dishes at Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi are also very cheap, just between VND20,000 and 30,000 each.
French ambassador Jean-Noël Poirier rides a classic Vespa, taking one of his staff members to his favorite eating place in Hanoi. Photo credit: Tuoi Tre
The ambassador quickly takes off his jacket to enter the hot and crowded market...
...and uses chopsticks just as well as locals.
Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi is always crowded.
All the food stalls are full of customers.