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|I scream, you scream: Fruits can be served with ice cream to add more options to the menu. - Photo courtesy of Hoa Beo store|
There’s a reason To Tich is known as the street of hoa qua dam (mixed fruits): On a street just 100m long, nestled beside Hang Gai Street, there are several shops selling the dessert delicacy.
Though it is small and narrow, To Tich Street is no less crowded and bustling than any other street thanks to all the fruits. When pedestrians finish walking and shopping at the Old Quarter, they usually come to savour these delicious mixed fresh fruits.
|Check it out: The street attracts visitors, including tourists and youngsters, all year round, especially in the summer. - Photo vntrip.vn|
The street attracts visitors, including tourists and youngsters, all year round but especially in the summer. People can’t help falling in love with the cups filled with colourful fruits and blended ice. Sweat evaporates and the body is invigorated when one tucks into a cup of cold, sweet fruit.
Each shop offers slight variations on the basic cup of mixed fruits, but they usually include popular fruits such as strawberry, avocado, grape, longan, lychee, mango, jackfruit, dragon fruit, papaya, guava and watermelon, depending on the season.
All fruits are washed and their skin is removed. Then they are sliced into small pieces and mixed with condensed milk, coconut milk, a little fruit syrup and soft jelly. The glass of fresh, aromatic and tasty mixed fruits is ready to eat.
|Simple: All fruits are washed and skinned, sliced into small pieces and then mixed with condensed milk, coconut milk, a little fruit syrup and soft jelly.-Photo courtesy of Hoa Beo|
Each mixed fruit cup offers a fresh flavour and eye-catching colours that gourmands will remember for a long time.
The shop owners are happy to add or remove specific kinds of fruits depending on customers’ preferences. For example, if you don’t like durian, you can tell them.
Besides mixed fruits with coconut milk, there are other options such as fruits mixed with yogurt, ice cream and a caramel dessert priced from VND20,000-VND40,000 (US$1-2) per portion.
Some of the most popular shops are Hoa Beo (17 To Tich) and Huong Sinh To (25 To Tich).
Mai Hoa, owner of Hoa Beo store, said she has sold the dessert for 20 years. People come in, order take-away and even call for delivery. Her shop is abuzz from the opening until late at night.
“This dish is very popular not only because of its tastiness but also its healthiness,” she said.
“Moreover, unlike smoothies, you do not need to wait for a long time, just sit down and you will have an attractive mixed fruit bowl right after ordering.”
|One of a kind: Each mixed fruit cup offers fresh flavour and eye-catching colours that will be remembered long after the dish is eaten.-Photo courtesy of Hoa Beo|
“To save time when serving a large number of customers, glasses full of fruit cubes are prepared in advance and kept in the fridge,” she said.
Kieu Ngan from Hanoi said To Tich Street is a favourite place for her to hang out with her friends.
“To meet the demand of customers, now the sellers also serve some snacks such as fries and nem chua ran (fried fermented pork bar),” she said.
“A bowl or glass of mixed fruits doesn’t only feed our stomachs but also keeps our skin beautiful. I love it.”
The fruit cubes are arranged into beautiful and attractive layers in a crystal glass. When an order comes in, the seller simply adds the condensed milk, coconut and ice so that no customer will be kept waiting for long.
We all know that during the summer, and really any time, there’s nothing better than digging your teeth into fresh, cool fruits to beat the heat and get a serving of vitamins.