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Dumplings instead of flowers

Making White Roses in Hoi An, Vietnam, September 2017

The Japanese phrase “dumplings instead of flowers” (花より団子 – hana yori dango) refers to choosing something useful over something pretty and decorative.

In Hoi An, you can have both at the same time – Banh Bao Vac, dumplings shaped like flowers, and known as “white roses”.



Copyright Debbie Smyth, 17 February 2022

Posted as part of Becky’s SquareOdds

12 replies »

  1. It’s so nice to see eastern restaurants and hotels still employing staff to prettify foods which will be either eaten or disposed of (when they are used as mere decoration). I have fond memories of holidays in East Asia with carved vegetables gracing the plates and pretty edible flowers in the soups.


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