Momma Dang is from the Northern highlands near Sapa but traveled to the warm South, like so many others, after the French left Vietnam in 1954.
Almost 1 million people left during this mass exodus and migration to seek refuge from the threat of war and communist division between the North and South.
Momma Dang talks often about many political, economical, and social struggles that came from this time period, but also shares an understanding of differences these cultural changes brought to their food and cuisine. As a child growing up in the poor country side, flavors came from an uncomplicated yet balanced base of available meats, broth, rice, fish sauce, with simple spices like black pepper and salt. Lucky for the South, the migration of people also meant they were bringing their recipes and style of Vietnamese cuisine to mold into the fresh, lite-flavors that were native to the lower half of the country. The stews and noodle dishes of the North are now paired with an abundance of lettuce, fresh and lightly pickled vegetables creating an incredible hybrid version of itself.