Thang Co – The best flavor of the upland Sapa
If someone asks what is the specility in Sapa, it must be “Thang Co” as the first recommendation. Originating from Sapa ethnic’s traditional food, it becomes one of the most terrific characteristics of the upland, which seduces lots of tourists to the North West of Viet Nam to come and enjoy.
Besides exploring the best-view ever of Sapa, tourists coming to the fog land can enjoy its delicious and distinctive Thang Co. There are a variety of stories telling about the origin of Thang Co and its name, but it maybe is the final answer that Thang Co is one of the Mong’s creation. It is said that Thang Co appeared in Vietnamese cuisine map 200 years ago, when the Mong, Tay and Nung ethnic moved to Bac Ha – the North West Zone for residence.
The name “Thang Co” is considered to originate from “Thoang Co” as the way the Mong ethnic call it or “Khau tha” meaning “Meat soup”. Another suggestion is that Thang Co is a phonetic variant of Thoang language in which “Co” means “soup pot”. Despite its various origins of names, Thang Co is a traditional food of the Mong ethnic. One typical characteristic of the traditional Thang Co was that the main ingredient was horse meat, instead of the more diversified kinds of meats as the main ingredients like pork, beef, buffalo meat as the recipes of other ethnics like the Kinh, Tay, Nung do it nowadays.
Previously, as the main ingredient of this food was horse meat and horse force was one of the most crucial means of transport and delivery of the ethnic, Thang Co was only served on the special occasions like Tet holiday, village’s big crop festivals or enjoyed in the large fair like Bac Ha fair which was not held regularly. But now, for the replacement of the new ingredients like pork and beef and the development of Sapa satisfying with tourists to this land, particularly the gastronomes, Thang Co is more popular and served in more places. Each kind of meat owns its featured flavor; however, Thang Co made from horse meat, so-called “Thang Co Ngua”, may obtain the best flavor and taste.