This week I added another animal to my list of unique foods. Only to realize that it was actually my second time having this animal in Vietnam when the dishes arrived. I took it as a sign to finally post it.
The first time I ate Civet Cat, I thought it was pork. Civet Cat is not really a cat. It is a fruit lovin omnivorous animal that is more related to the mongoose. The body is catlike but the face is more like a raccoon. In Vietnamese, the animal is called Chon. Chon is primarily famous for caphe cut chon, known as weasel coffee. Vietnam is one of the few countries that produce weasel coffee. Civet Cats also love eating coffee beans. Weasel coffee is produced by collecting coffee beans that have been swallowed and digested by the weasel. At Trung Nguyen Coffee, this unique weasel coffee (called Legendee) is offered for a steep price. I heard it’s hard to find pure weasel coffee beans because they are blended with regular beans. Though I may not be a coffee connoisseur, Legendee was very smooth.
Fast forward to last Thursday. The gang was invited to a celebratory meal at Rieu Ca Chep Nga Restaurant. We were served chon prepared in 5 different ways. The dishes were: blood sausage (pictured below), roasted chon, another type of sausage, steamed, and hot pot. I tried 3 out of the 5 until I got really full. Chon really does taste like pork with a hint of game. The meat is the color of duck meat.
This course meal was OFF the menu. Illegal wildlife trade still continues to be rampant in Vietnam. These animals end up at restaurants and pharmacies; and people are willing to pay for the delicacy.
Rieu Ca Chep Nga Restaurant
Ton Duc Thang Street
Next to Saigon Square 2