I'll Bite

A taste of Tet on a Friday night

I kicked off my weekend Friday night with a quick trip through the Tet Festival at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, a celebration of Vietnamese food and culture for the new Asian year.

The food: Astonishing, a terrific collection of both traditional Vietnamese foods, celebration foods and a variety of cultures. One young woman was showing off her mother’s French-style baking, with deep-fried plantains, madeleines and Italian pizzelles flavored with coconut and durian. Another young man talked me into strolling with juicy fish paste pressed around a stick and fried.

I was in a hurry to get home to my family, but I walked quickly through the crowds of other people’s families, the kids jumping with excitement, the band tuning up, the people dashing for their favorite dish or taking a chance on something they’ve never eaten, and marveled. Next year, I’ll definitely schedule time to spend a few hours there.

Kathleen Purvis: 704-358-5236, @kathleenpurvis