BẾN TRE – Whenever I think of coconuts, Bến Tre Province immediately comes to mind.
Located in the southwestern part of the Mekong Delta, about 90km west of HCM City, Bến Tre has long been famed for its delicious variety of coconut dishes.
Traveling from HCM City, you will soon notice the shadows of coconut trees as you cross the Rạch Miễu Bridge over the Tiền River linking the two Delta provinces of Tiền Giang and Bến Tre.
All around you are lush, verdant paddy fields and boats quietly gliding on waterways, a perfect gateway to a relaxing vacation or weekend retreat away from the big city.
One of the area’s most famous products is kẹo dừa (coconut candy), a favorite treat of southerners, closely followed by banana candy. The two traditional candies originated in Bến Tre.
Twenty to 25 years ago, when Việt Nam had not integrated with the world, coconut candy production was limited. Made simply with only coconut milk and sugar, it was mostly for domestic use only.
But now, coconut candy makers have added durian and pandan leaf, and even roasted peanuts, to their products which are sold both in Việt Nam and abroad.
The candy, one of the most traditional items in the Mekong Delta, is so common here that many tourists can easily find workshops to view the processing and making of coconut products.
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