Chè is a Vietnamese word to describe any traditional Vietnamese sweet beverage, usually available in the form of pudding, or as a plain drink.
Healthy sweetness of beans
Usually Chè is made from a various beans like mung beans, black-eyed beans, kidney beans, red beans or peanuts mixed with rice flour, sticky rice, lotus seed, tapioca, taro, aloe vera. There are hundreds of different types of Chè and even more ways to make them. Most commonly it is cooked in water and sweetened with sugar. While cooking pandan leaves are added for better aroma. In Southern Vietnam, especially around Mekong Delta, people add coconut milk to make it even more delicious.
Understand what you order
Each type of Che is described by word following “Chè”, for example: Chè Đậu Xanh (mung beans), Chè Khoai Môn (taro), Chè Hạt Sen (lotus seed). Then it will come with ice or hot depend on what kind of Chè.
In Buddhism, on the 15th day of Lunar Calendar, we usually cook sweet soup to put on the altar with fruit and flowers. In countryside, most families don’t cook Chè on normal days, because it takes a long time to prepare and ingredients are not cheap. So kids, who usually love this sweet treat must wait until the full moon to enjoy Chè.
Chè is also the name for tea in North Vietnam meanwhile in the south we call tea Trà and Chè means the sweet soup only. Chè originates from North Vietnam.
Where to buy
This popular sweet dish can be bought around local markets, close to universities and sometimes in touristy areas of the big cities usually from old ladies on their customized pushbikes.