For instance, the Quang region community in HCMC established Ba Hoa Market which is dedicated to sell familiar treats to satisfy their home sickness.
Nestled at the end of Tran Mai Ninh Street in Tan Binh District, the market was founded in 1967 by Mrs Hoa. Coming to the market, you can hear the familiar accents and authentic flavors of dishes and specialties which originate from the Quang region (Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, Danang) in the Central.
Right at the entrance to the market, guests will see signboards naming Quang’s authentic products such as ‘Mi Quang‘(a kind of noodle of Quang people), ‘Banh dap Hoi An‘ (grilled pan cake), or ‘Banh thuanQuang Nam’ (steamed cup cake). Sellers at the market are mostly families emigrated from the Quang region.
“We have sold our hometown products at this market for over ten years. Quang people no need to go for hundreds of kilometers to enjoy Quang dishes and hear Quang voices.” Hai, a female seller at the market, said adding that the business also helps them to keep their tradition alive.
Buyers can also purchase other products such as black sugar, cu nen, Ly Son Island garlic, mi quang, banh trang dap, banh to, banh in, banh thuan, (typical cake of Quang people), dried potatoes and fig fruits. Another item that Quang people have in their meals is mam cai, a fish sauce made in their own style.
Minh, a seller at the market, said: “We often bring products from our hometown, except some instant foods that need to be made here; therefore buyers are assured to have authentic central region specialties.”
Ms Bay’s booth seems to be the only one with vegetables of Quang Nam Province with many kinds of herbs which are useful to cure many diseases. Therefore, as they are transported from the Central, vegetables are sold at higher prices but people still buy them as they are hard to find anywhere else.
The market is small but it can warm the hearts of Central people who are living far from their hometown. Moreover, guests will also know more about local cultures, customs and lifestyle via activities of people at the market.
Saigon is a city with multi-language, multi-culture, multi-cuisine from Europe to Asia, from countryside to urban areas. However, if you are a child of Quang region or Quang-product lover, Ba Hoa Market is a place you should make a second home.