The Vietnamese has a famous folk poem meaning that “In the pond, nothing’s more beautiful than lotus”. To the Vietnamese, lotus is known as an exquisite flower, symbolizes the purity, serenity, and optimism of the future as it grows in muddy water and rises above the surface to bloom with remarkable beauty.

Every year, from May to July according to the lunar calendar, everywhere in Vietnam is highlighted with lotus flower seasons in blossom, shimmering with sunshine. The fragrance of lotus flowers follows vendors to every corner of the streets and its alluring perfume seems to mingle into the air and reminds people of the past.

As well as being beautiful to look at, and having a wonderful fragrance, lotus has played an important role in Vietnamese’s culinary history. Young lotus stems are used as a salad ingredient. The lotus seeds can be eaten raw or boiled until soft and made into a paste, or boiled with dried longans and rock sugar to make a sweet soup. The stamens can be dried and used to impart a fragrant scent to tea leaves.

It is not only delicious on its own, it is also a wonderful accompaniment to other foods. The flowers are also used to decorate dishes – so they're a feast for the eyes as well.

Such is the Vietnamese love for the lotus that it was voted as the country’s national flower, and it would be hard to travel through Vietnam during lotus season without coming across a pond or lake filled with them, and trying some food made from lotus!