It’s gettin’ hot in HCMC.
The dry-season is in full swing and the days of motorbiking in the rain while donning ponchos is now a distant memory.
Unlike The Astronomer, I love the heat. It’s probably the result of my Saigon genes and SoCal upbringing. And even though it’s already suitably warm right now, according to my mom, after Tet is when the temperatures really soar.
The Astronomer is going to melt.
To stay cool and hydrated in times like these, the Vietnamese turn to chilled young coconuts and dessert-y drinks like chè nhãn.
Chè nhãn is made from nhãn (dried longans), sương sa (agar jelly) and served in a tall glass over ice.
Although not the prettiest chè on the block—that award goes to sương sa hột lựu—it certainly has its merits. Chè nhãn‘s cool liquid tastes like a soda-less cream soda with hints of vanilla, while the sương sa‘s playfully crinkly texture reminds one to take it easy or risk a stroke.
Chè nhãn can be purchased from most chè vendors. The glass above cost 2,000 VND from a chè lady on Ton That Thuyet Street in District 4.