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Vietnamese cuisine is at last attracting the broad audience it deserves . . .
The diverse flavors found in Vietnamese food can be attributed to the influences of various nations that have once occupied the country as well as the influences of its neighbors. The Chinese left their art of stir-frying using the famous wok; the French brought their passion for aromatic filtered coffee and crème caramel, and the exotic lemongrass was adopted from the Thai kitchen. However, the genius of Vietnamese cooking lies in the innovative adaptation of all these foreign inspirations to create a unique and subtle cuisine. With the heavy reliance on rice, abundance of fresh herbs and vegetables, minimal use of oil, and treatment of meat as a condiment rather than a main course, Vietnamese food has to be among the healthiest on the planet.