via Ethnoarchaeology, 19 January 2024: Eusenio and Campos present an ethnoarchaeological study focusing on cá kho tộ, a traditional Vietnamese fish stew, cooked in earthenware pots. By analyzing organic residues in contemporary restaurant pottery and comparing them with ancient pottery sherds from Southern Vietnam, the research offers new insights into the region’s longstanding culinary practices.
Ethnoarchaeological studies of food and culinary practices are typically conducted in communities and households that still practice traditional ways of food preparation and consumption. This article presents ethnoarchaeological research in small, contemporary restaurants in Vietnam that serve cá kho tộ, a braised caramelized fish stew prepared in earthenware cooking pots. Comparative reference samples of pottery were collected from the restaurants for organic residue analysis, and the results were compared with residue analysis of pottery sherds recovered from archaeological sites in Southern Vietnam. The results contribute novel insights to both ancient and present-day culinary practices in the region and to the study of open earthenware pots and pottery sherds with interior surface charred residues.