This week, The Food Section travels to Vietnam for the fourth edition of Moveable Feast. Earlier installments of this ongoing feature have taken this site to Montreal, Canada, Florence, Italy, and Washington, DC, for a peak into local food culture beyond New York City.
Guest editing this virtual vacation is "Pieman," a.k.a. British freelance hack, copywriter, and blogger Graham Holliday, who has lived in Vietnam for the past eight years. He used to scrub the posh plates of the Euro-glitterati in Monte Carlo for a living, but now he prefers the other side of the kitchen. He writes about travel, food, conservation, and wildlife. You can find his published writings in the pages of TIME, Guardian, Sunday Herald, South China Morning Post, Destinasian, CNN Traveller, and FORTUNE.
At his weblog, Noodlepie, Pieman stalks the streets of Saigon for all the "scoff and swill" he can find. "Noodlepie is a hobby in words and pictures," he says. "But, I hope it's useful to both visitors, and residents, just as a no-nonsense nosher's guide. It works as a kind of 'living archive' of what to eat and where to eat it. Over time I hope it will become a pretty big resource."
Sticking Pins in Saigon
For this Moveable Feast, Pieman gives you "Sticking Pins in Saigon." "Southeast Asia is the streetfood center of the world, nowhere more so than Saigon," he explains of the city known as Ho Chi Minh City since 1975, but still called Saigon locally. "Stick a pin in any Vietnam city map and I guarantee you’ll find something interesting to eat," he says. To prove the point, he stuck five pins in a Saigon street map (see below) and numbered them for Moveable Feast. For the next five days, follow Pieman as his sidekick and digital dining companion as he tests his pin-sticking theory of gastronomical discovery.