Vietnamese delicacies: Agricultural products rake in cash in global markets

Several cheap and common Vietnamese herbs and fruits are sold at high prices in foreign markets.

Shisho, a common Vietnamese herb, sells for VND500-700 per leaf (€0.02-0.03) in Japan, used mostly by restaurants to wrap around food. In Vietnam, a leaf only costs between VND100 and 200.

Jackfruit seeds are often discarded in Vietnam, but this delicacy has found its way onto Japan's kitchen tables. They could be found for VND200,000 per kilogram (€7.45) in Japanese supermarkets.

Lime leaves, a Vietnamese herb that goes well with chicken, are now exported to European markets at VND22,000-24,000 per kilogram. In Vietnam, they might as well be free, as store owners often giveaway the leaves at zero cost as an add-on for other products.

Banana leaves are commonly used in Vietnam to wrap around rice cakes or green rice, often at the cost of VND15,000-20,000 per kilogram. However, they could fetch a very high price in Japan, sometimes for VND470,000 for a set of three.

A sweet and sour tropical fruit, dragonfruits are often sold in Japan at VND180,000-200,000 per kilogram. However, their prices in Vietnam can be as low as VND2,000 per kilogram instead.


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