Of course, people (both Vietnamese and foreigners) are utterly charmed by all of the natural beauties of Phu Quoc, such as forests with diverse breeds and sandy coasts. But it’s most well-known for another thing: fish sauce. So, if you go to Phu Quoc without visiting fish sauce making process, I bet you’re going to deeply regret later on.
Two ingredients for making fish sauce are fishes and salt. Many types of fish can be used here, but the makers usually utilize anchovies to have the best outcome products. The salt must be pure and preserved 3 months before being used to make all Canxi and Magie in it deposit to the bottom. When making fish sauce, the salt (with canxi and magie deposited) in the bottom will be eliminated. Moreover, all the ingredients must be very clean and fresh to ensure that the products are hygienically safe to use.
After the preparation, the fishes and salt are put together into giant vats to start the fermenting process. The ratio of fishes to salt is 3 to 1. Standard period of time for the fermentation is about 12 months, but depending on the makers’ own purposes, it can be up to 15 months.
Phu Quoc fish sauce from different workshops can taste different, because ones have their own tips and keys to make their own products more distinctive and delicious. But which ever workshop it’s from, Phu Quoc fish sauce does have some common features like the natural and delicious puce (because it was made of fresh and clean ingredients with perfect timing and no chemical color added), distinguishing smell (especially when you season your dishes with it), and so on.
And when you’re finally there, don’t forget to buy and bring home some fish sauce. For me, I always think it’s better to get the products right where it’s from.