The delicious taste of…salt – Tourist information

12.3.1
Wild salt and pepper

Spicy flavor of wild salt and pepper

Wild pepper is not like the pepper tree we often see, with leaves like betel leaves and tangerine vines, but is a large tree about 10-15m long growing in deep forests, with a wide canopy. Around September-October every year, when wild pepper is in its peak ripening season, people carry baskets into the deep forest to get seeds. Wild pepper grows in dense, small, green clusters, looking almost like coffee beans. After picking, they separate the seeds to dry, put them in bamboo tubes, and put them in the kitchen. After a while, the wild pepper still does not spoil but still retains its flavor. The tree trunk also has a fragrant scent, so many people take advantage of peeling a little extra bark to bring home. In case the house runs out of seeds, they can grind the bark to use temporarily. Wild pepper is best used to dip wild game meat such as squirrel meat, porcupine meat, mouse meat or grilled wild boar. When the meat is just cooked, with the scorched layer still intact, immediately dip it into a bowl of spicy wild salt and pepper. There is truly no other dish that is so harmonious, so delicious that you will have to admire it forever. Although not as spicy as green chili, the strong taste of wild pepper has a strong impact on the sense of smell, making the person enjoying the food feel much more delicious. In the middle of a cold night in the mountains and forests, next to the fire, a plate of grilled porcupine meat, a bowl of wild salt and pepper, and a splash of wine became a delicious meal. The fragrant taste of fresh wild meat, the strong taste of salt, the intoxicating taste of wine mixed with fermented forest leaves blend together, captivating people’s hearts, lasting forever, lasting until morning.

12.3.2
Yellow ant salt

Sour taste of yellow ant salt

Getting weaver ants to make salt is not easy because weaver ants do not exist all year round and do not live everywhere. When intending to catch ants, people must prepare their belongings, tight clothes, machetes, and food to go deep into the forest. There are ant nests at the top of tall trees, or hanging between dense branches, intertwined with each other. If you want to get them, you have to skillfully climb and then carefully bring them down, separate the ants and eggs and bring them back. If the nest has a lot of ant eggs, make a wet salt dish. The preparation is very simple: add fresh chili and salt and pound for a while to mix the spices together. Wet yellow ant salt is very fatty but has a naturally sweet and sour taste, delicious with white rice. If the nest has a lot of ants, make dry salt, put it in a pan and roast it until the ants are only slightly dry, be careful not to burn it or lose its fatty taste. Then add spices such as salt and chili to the mortar and pound finely. Having weaver ant salt stored in the house, people prepare it into many delicious dishes such as yellow ant soup with Giang leaves, braised with stream fish, soaked in salted meat, etc. The delicious dish is both simple and nutritious, because weaver ants have powerful functions. The nutritional content is quite high, protein is from 42-67% and has 28 types of amino acids, in addition it also has many vitamins and minerals.

12.3.3
Salt the leaves

The spicy salt with é leaves

If forest salt and pepper are pungent and yellow ant salt are fatty and sour, then é leaf salt has a strange, slightly spicy flavor and is very pleasant. The é leaf is not a noble or rare spice plant, but is very familiar, growing naturally in shady forests, on the banks of streams, in ravines, or around stilt houses. The shape of the leaves is slightly tapered, young green, growing in clusters like basil or herbs. There are light green and purple leaves. Light green leaves are more fragrant and much easier to eat. There is no need to work hard to make salt from the leaves. After cooking the meal, people run to the garden to pick a few leaves, add a few green chili peppers, a little salt, mix it and pound it, and there is a bowl of salt on the tray. . When the sticky rice season is ripe, the new bowl of rice will be white and fragrant, with the addition of a piece of wild meat and a bowl of salt from the leaves, it will become a delicious meal.

12.3.4
Bitter eggplant salt

Rich in bitter eggplant salt

Walking in the large forests in Kon Tum, you can easily see a plant with leaves similar to eggplant leaves but the fruit is a bit larger, dark green, sometimes with white stripes, that is bitter eggplant, a type of vegetable. familiar products of ethnic people. In the past, bitter eggplants often grew wild in forests, where the soil was barren, sunny and windy, so the fruits were small, dark green and had a bitter taste. Later, people brought it home and planted it near their homes. The fruit became larger and the bitter taste also decreased a bit. Eggplant has a very characteristic bitter taste, the intestine has many seeds, and is prepared with many dishes such as: goat intestines cooked with bitter eggplant, bitter eggplant stewed with pork leg, etc. Bitter eggplant is especially suitable for fishy foods like fish. , shrimp, eel, snails, frogs,… the bitter taste eliminates the fishy smell and adds a delicious flavor, especially when you add a little chopped lolot leaves, making it a favorite dish for many people. But the simplest way to enjoy all the delicious bitter taste is to salt bitter eggplants. Just pick a few young bitter eggplants with your fingers, add wild chili, and crush them to create a special bitter eggplant salt dish. People here believe that bitter eggplant is not only delicious but will also help the body avoid gout, rheumatism or bone pain.

Not a luxurious or rare dish, not a precious or hard-to-find spice, but each salt dish has its own unique and delicious taste and contributes to the impression of Northern Central Highlands cuisine./.

Ha Oanh