Ben Thanh market isn’t feeling its usual self at the moment. Sellers are spread out all over the shop, many a stall is still closed and a few stall-less squatters are chancing their arm along the gangways. Tet officially ends on the 16th February when, I’m told, the market will return to pre-Tet normality with stalls once more fenced in rabbit hutch like and all those chancers given a firm boot back onto the streets. I found this seller flogging roasted ‘parts’ from two ground level buckets opposite one corner of the main food hall. Pig’s ear, intestine, tails and sausages rammed full with innards are what you’ll find here. Yum.
I tug the most phallic looking specimen off her tray and stump up 30,000VD for the pleasure. She tells me it takes two hours to roast each sausage. Inside it’s an offal party; chopped intestine, meat, heart, lungs and no doubt plenty carcass garbage I’ve never previously ingested. It comes with a rousing fermented soy bean dipping sauce – you can see the large tub full of the stuff sitting slap bang in the centre of the shot above. I was hoping for a spicy offal stunna, but this was disappointing. Too basic with none of the finesse of a French boudin or a Scottish black pudding. What you see really is what you get.