It’s a cool early morning. The smell of rice fields and the sight of green steps cascading over the mountain bring comfort and relaxation. I’m spending my last day in Vietnam before I head to China. All I crave for is a bowl of steamed rice. The taste is unique on its own. No gravies to accompany, just the wholesome goodness of this essential staple food of the Far East.

My friend for many years asks me how I can eat just rice alone. Maybe it’s habitual, maybe it’s nostalgia. Food is more than just taste, it is the experience that makes you think of it. Being at the right place at the right time. In Chinese cuisine, rice is as staple as noodles. The hot steamy bowl makes the greater addition to the meal even though one may not think so much of it.

I sit on this morning gazing into the open field watching the workers tending to their crop, nurturing it with care. I understand the value of rice even more now. This same rice field and hands of the workers that will bring me my bowl of rice and delicious lunch. So what is the taste of a bowl of rice to me? A vision of green fields, smell of morning dew on the leaves. It changes every time but it is never short of bringing to mind beautiful images of my roots.