Travel Treats: Gỏi cuốn, Vietnam

Who doesn’t like a wrapped food item? The bland outside, hides away an explosion of flavor once you bite into it, balancing the flavors when chewed together. From shawarmas to gyros, there are a vast variety of wrap-tastic foods out in the world. But what about Asia? You bet they have their own delicious dish swaddled in a tasty wrap. Enter the Gỏi cuốn or Vietnamese Spring Rolls, a fresh take to a Chinese treat.
What is a Vietnamese Spring Roll? To answer that, we have to look into what the general spring roll is. Simply put, it is a multitude of different ingredients that are mixed up, placed on an edible wrapper, and then folded expertly so it it doesn’t spill its contents. Sometimes it's wrapped as is, giving it a fresh flavor, or it is dropped into a pan of oil so that it’s fried to a deliciously crispy texture. In a veggie spring roll, the wrap is a rice paper. The stuffing often includes vermicelli noodles, a vinegar-based sauce (or peanut if you prefer a milder flavor), carrot slices, cucumber slices, cilantro, fried tofu (optional), etc.
Depending on the ingredients on the inside, the inner moisture will cause the wrapping to turn translucent and expose the colorful ingredients. The vegetable colors appearing under the slightly blurry paper add to its visual appeal and can make for a drool-worthy work of edible art.