Exploring fish sauce and pepper in Phu Quoc: Famous delicacies


Phu Quoc has lots of specialties that is famous not only locally but also internationally. Pepper and fish sauce are one the most famous ones in Pearl Island. They are not only served in local’s daily meals but also can be brought back to your loved ones as thoughtful gifts. All in all a great addition to Phu Quoc’s rich culture of cuisine.

>>  Top places to eat in Phu Quoc island.

Pepper Phu Quoc

Pepper in Phu Quoc @ Fox Travels 

Pepper Phu Quoc is a spice is considered specialty island Phu Quoc in Kien Giang Province, Vietnam. Pepper Phu Quoc is aromatic and pungent, and more especially the dark variety of pepper come from other regions, including the consumption of red. The text is people Phu Quoc periodically harvested ripely and mostly by hand, choosing the berries into 3 separate types (white pepper, black pepper, and red pepper).

Planting pepper appeared in Phu Quoc for hundreds of years ago and it becomes traditional work in Phu Quoc. Phu Quoc pepper is famous for its spice and hot, especially red pepper. The peppercorn is firm and spice the best in comparison to any other one. Only ripe peppercorns are collected (mostly by hand) and piled into 3 kinds: black pepper, red pepper, and white pepper.

Planting pepper in Phu Quoc is different from other places. The farmers rarely use chemical fertilizer. Every year, the root of pepper tree is banked with new soil that is dug from the garden edge in order to modify nutrition used or washed away. That way makes pepper trees grow naturally.

During 2002 to 2006, the price of pepper was decreased seriously; many pepper farms and gardens were left uncultivated and uncollected, the difficult life of farmers became more severe. Despite that, many farmers decided to maintain their work with pepper garden and looked forward a brighter future for pepper. From the middle of 2007 up to now, pepper price has increased dramatically, Phuquoc farmers cheerfully come back to their hundreds year traditional work. Many pepper gardens appear, green gardens are widened.

Tourist can easily find out and visit a garden on the way to the North, the South or the East of the island. Planting pepper in Phu Quoc island is not only a way to make living but also a culture. Keeping pepper tree in the island is keeping traditional work, contribute to the development of economy and tourism of this beautiful island.

Phu Quoc fish sauce

Phu Quoc fish sauce @ Fox Travels

The waters around Phu Quoc island are rich in seaweed and plankton which provide food for the anchovy population. This resource has been used in the production of Phu Quoc fish sauce for over 200 years. However, it only since the late 1950s that the product has been recognized outside of its home island, reaching its zenith of popularity between 1965 and 1975. With increasing government subsidies for many industries in the period from 1975 to 1985, the local fish sauce craft lost market share to larger competitors, but in recent years, the popularity of the authentic Phu Quoc product has been rebounding. Currently, Phu Quoc fish sauce production has reached 8 million liters/year.

Phu Quoc fish sauce is made from anchovies that have been fermented in brine in large barrels measuring 1.5 to 3 meters (4.9 to 9.8 ft) in diameter and 2 to 4 meters (6.6 to 13.1 ft) in height, containing 7 to 13 tons of product. The barrels are made from braided rattan from the local mountains and can be used for up to 60 years.

While any kind of fish can also be used to make the fish sauce, Phu Quoc sauce is made exclusively from anchovies harvested from waters surrounding the island. During the fishing season (which extends from July to December), fishermen harvest anchovies by the net, removing the anchovies from among other fish and items in the nets, and immediately combining them with salt at a 3:1 ratio in water tanks.

For more about Phu Quoc Cuisines, please return to our front page.