CNN travel has posted an article claiming that Vietnam’s Central Highlands resort city of Da Lat is capable of producing some of the best cheese in all of Asia.
The US-based media outlet stated that Da Lat is the country's leading agricultural producer, adding that it's also a highly popular vacation destination for both Vietnamese and international tourists.
Moreover, the Central Highland city is also earning fame for the source of some of the best cheeses produced throughout Asia, including creamy mozzarella, burrata, and camembert.
According to the article published by CNN travel, the Don Duong cheese factory, first established in 2011 by popular Vietnam-based Italian cum Japanese restaurant chain Pizza 4P's, is a location where the majority of Vietnamese cheese is made and then sold on to hotels, restaurants, and dairy shops regionally.
When the cheese factory initially started out they were using less than 50 litres of milk each day. That is in contrast to today where they boast 30 workers who use 5,000 litres of milk a day in order to produce 13 varieties of cheeses, from ricotta to bocconcini. Indeed, all of their cheese is 100% natural and includes no additives.
The milk supply comes from various farmers and producers such as the Da Lat Milk Farm. However, in an effort to improve the overall quality of their products and consistency even further, Pizza 4P's is now seeking to build its own dairy farm.
The US news agency points out that one of the most notable items on the menu of the Don Duong cheese factory is the creamy burrata and mozzarella, something that is liberally sprinkled on all of their pizzas and generously cut open in order to reveal a creamy centre.
Each day, farmhands make a staggering 1,500 to 2,000 pieces of burrata, along with 2,000 to 3,000 balls of mozzarella, CNN report. Although they have a strong French influence, the cheese is developed in a Vietnamese style.
Furthermore, camembert is another popular choice among cheese lovers. According to Keinosuke Konuki, manager of the Pizza 4P's cheese factory in Da Lat, the camembert cheese was developed in collaboration with a craftsman who had been trained in France.
“The Laughing Cow, a global cheese brand, is commonly used in banh mi around the country, as well as street-style rice paper pizzas, said to have been created in Da Lat”, CNN state.
Peter Cuong Franklin, chef and owner of Anan Saigon restaurant in Ho Chi Minh City, originally hails from Da Lat, although he doesn't remember cheese being popular when growing up.
"There is not much history of cheese-making in Da Lat until recently," says Franklin. "It seems as if the French were content with importing cheese from their home country, and the Vietnamese did not have a great affinity towards cheese, with the exception of 'The Laughing Cow' cheese."
Franklin, a chef who is well-known for his fusion of street foods, is reported by CNN to make his own version of The Laughing Cow cheese by using mozzarella and scamorza cheese that comes from the Don Duong cheese factory whilst featuring plenty of fresh herbs from the region.
Franklin’s "Da Lat Tasting Menu" will be on offer in his restaurant and will include Da Lat cheese, artichokes, and strawberries which were "cultivated during the French colonial era”.
The conclusion of the CNN piece also suggests that visitors head to Da Lat, “When Vietnam reopens to international travel, tourists can try the country's freshest local cheeses paired with some local wine and ripe strawberries, or visit one of Pizza 4P's' restaurants in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Da Nang, and Nha Trang”. VOV/ CNN travel