Marian Days. A Vietnamese event in Carthage Missouri
I went to Marian Days in Carthage Missouri yesterday
Marian Days is a meeting of Vietnamese Catholics in Carthage, Missouri. This event is mostly Vietnamese people from all over the country; however there are some people of Hispanic ethnicities as well along with a few Caucasian people.
This event occurs every year during the same week. It involves a few thousand Vietnamese people coming to Carthage to put on a convention to promote their religious beliefs and meet up with other congregations of likeminded individuals. The primary language of the event is of course Vietnamese and it’s spoken by probably about 90% of the individuals there. Most of the vendors are bilingual, of course and can speak English and some Spanish as I found out yesterday.
I didn’t go for the religion to any capacity and I didn’t go for any of the other things they were selling like DVDs, trinkets, clothing, and other materialistic items but rather I went for the food and to take my dog on a bit of a walk.
They had some extremely unique foods of course including alligator, dried fish, boba tea (with a lot of exotic flavors), fish balls, fried hard boiled eggs, pork stomach, and so much more.
Over the course of my time at Marian Days I ended up trying the fish balls on a bed of rice which were amazing. My other half tried the fried hard boiled eggs and pork stomach. I enjoyed it all. She on the other hand wasn’t a fan of any of the food. That said she loved the boba tea and actually had multiple types while we were there including Taro, Strawberry, Oreo, and Duran.
If you’ve never had these the best way I can think to explain it is it’s similar to the consistency of a chicken nugget but with fish instead of chicken. It’s much more dense than a normal fish filet of most fish anyway. They were very good actually. I ordered them expecting to dislike them but I wanted to try them. The sauce that’s in them is actually a tomato based sauce with a copious amount of sweet spices along with onion.
I would get this again but they had a lot of other things in the menu I wanted to try also.
Pork belly & Fried Hard Boiled Eggs
Everyone has an idea of what pork belly is like. In fact a lot of people have had pork belly already. The fried hard boiled eggs are what caught me off guard.
How do they make them?
I’m not 100% sure how they made them; however based on the look it seems as though they hard boiled some eggs then very lightly breaded them and fried them.
It was very different from anything I’ve ever had; however, they weren’t bad at all. In fact I wanted to get a few for the road.
I’ve had pork belly a few times in my life; mostly in ramen but this was alone with rice. It’s very fatty as you can imagine but has a lot of flavor as it’s the belly of the pig. I liked it a lot even though it was cooked in a pretty basic manor.
If you’re unsure what “Boba Tea” is it’s a term used to refer to bubble tea which is described as: a cold, frothy drink made with iced tea, sweetened milk or other flavorings, and usually with sweet black balls or “pearls” made from tapioca.
While we were at Marrian Days we tried four different boba teas. They were:
Out of all of these some were amazing and some were very different and didn’t turn out to be too good. In fact Taro was everyone in my family's favorite while Oreo was my significant other’s favorite. Duran tastes almost exactly like an onion so none of us liked that one while strawberry tasted like it had a bit too much syrup in it.
We actually ended up getting another taro boba tea to take home with us because it was that good.
When it comes to the small “pearls” in the tea I think it depends on the flavor. For example, if you went with taro tea the pearls go well with it but in Oreo they don’t go too well in.
So this event isn’t a food based event so much as a religious one that happens to sell some really cool foods. That being said there’s an array of foods I still want to try and I think every time I go back I’ll get something different until I find something I really like.
Here are my ratings per dish & drink:
- Fish Balls — 8/0 — Way better than I thought it would be
- Pork Belly W/ Eggs — 6/10 — I didn’t expect what I got but with that said it was still very good
- Taro Boba Tea — 10/10 — My new favorite boba tea
- Oreo Boba Tea — 7/10 — Good but I prefer fruits & vegetables
- Duran Boba Tea — 4/10 — Just too weird for me. I would try it again in a boba tea or eating the fruit by itself to see how it is.
- Strawberry Boba Tea — 6/10 — Too much syrup in the drink but still very good
I’m not a food critic. I’m not a professional cook when it comes to Vietnamese cuisine. I’m just a random guy who enjoys trying different foods from any culture including my own even though we don’t have many weird foods except maybe rocky mountain oysters. These are my takeaways from the experience of Marrian Days in Carthage, Missouri.
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