In Nguyễn dynasty, 50 best chefs were selected in to Thượng Thiện board all over the kingdom to serve the King. There are 3 meals per day, 12 dishes in breakfast and 66 dishes in lunch and dinner (including 50 main dishes and 16 sweets). An essential dish is bird's nest soup (Vietnamese language: tổ yến). Others are: fish fin (vi cá), abalone (bào ngư), deer's tendon (gân nai), bear' hands (tay gấu), rhinoceros' skin (da tê giác), etc. Water must come from Hàm Long well, Báo Quốc pagoda, Cam Lồ well near Thúy Vân mountain's bottom or from the source of Hương river. Rice is de variety coming from An Cựu imperial rice field. Phước Tích clay pots for cooking rice was used one time only. Except for Thượng Thiện board members, no one are allowed to have any contact with cooked dishes. The dishes then are given to eunuchs before passing to the King' wives, and at last, being offered to the King. The King enjoy meals (Vietnamese: ngự thiện) alone in comfortable musical space. (ref: Vietnamese language: ).
Read more about this topic: Vietnamese Cuisine
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