Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 213

Che Dau Trang: No, it's not anything related to Guevara: it's a traditional Vietnamese dish I found today while doing some shopping at Lee's Bakery on Buford Highway. I'd been meaning to venture back that way once I had some time freed up, and I had a small window available this afternoon to check this place out. One of my readers had suggested I try Lee's a few weeks ago (she even suggested I try this particular dish), and since I love all things Vietnamese, I knew I'd probably find some good stuff there.

After browsing the prepared foods counter, I knew I was going to find some great new foods at Lee's. I managed to score a lot of stuff (more of that to come in the next few days), but the real unknowns (to me, anyway) were in the refrigerated cooler near the front. The shelves in the cooler were full of awesome things I honestly couldn't identify, and none of the containers had any labels or prices. Instead of walking away, I grabbed a container of this unusual concoction that looked like rice pudding with beans in it.
As the guy behind the counter rang me up, I asked him what the stuff in the container was. He said "sticky rice with white bean." Hmm, ok. I knew it'd be up to me to figure out the real name of this dish, so when I got home, I did some research. Interestingly, it was the same thing ("che") that my reader had recommended. Strange coincidence, but it worked out well!
Ok, time to eat. I wasn't sure what to expect with this, but my first bite surprised me. It reminded me of a much more gelatinous, slightly sweet rice pudding, but with little white beans (or were they black eyed peas?) mixed throughout. Pretty good, and it made for a nice, light dessert to enjoy after I finished my lunch. I'd definitely try it again, and now I'm curious to find out what all the other varieties in the store taste like. They had some that had a whole rainbow of colors in the glass.

In addition to the che, I also had a killer banh mi sandwich - delicious, but nothing new for me there. Stay tuned for more Vietnamese fun over the next few days...

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