This week Native host Briana Kurtz is radioing in from Hanoi, Vietnam where she is speaking with culinary guide, Mark Lowerson. Mark is an Australian who has been living and working in Vietnam since 2002. Starting his food blog Stickyrice as a creative outlet in 2005, he explains how he decided to focus his posts on street food in Hanoi and the culture around food in his adopted home. Briana engages in a wonderful discussion asking exactly what makes the area's cuisine distinct compared to Vietnamese food as a whole and how vital fish sauce is to the cuisine. Many popular Vietnamese dishes vary from region to region and Mark points out that other countries and cuisines have ultimately influenced what Vietnamese food is today. After the break, Mark and Briana talk about the future of Vietnam with gender roles and commercial development in the area of Hanoi. Tune in for an authentic look at Hanoi! This program was brought to you by Whole Foods Market.

"What the Vietnamese are trying to achieve with the flavor profile of the cuisine is a balance between salty, sweet, sour, and spicy. That flavor balance will shift around the country a little bit." [3:00]

"In Hanoi, the signature lunch dishes for me, it's called bun cha, and it's a noodle dish but it's something that you have to reconstruct at the table. It's fantastic barbeque pork, shallots, and a few spices served in a dipping sauce served with a big pot of herbs, salad, and noodles on the side." [9:10]

--Mark Lowerson on Native