The unique meaning of the name “Tĩn” fish sauce

Nước mắm Tĩn đựng nước mắm rin của phan thiết
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There have been many customers in the 7x, 8x and younger generations wondering about the brand’s name “Tĩn” fish sauce. Having been a loyal customer of “Tĩn” fish sauce for years, but still wondering why we chose the name “Tĩn”? This article will explain everything you need to know about the brand name.

Why ” Tĩn”?

những tĩn nước mắm trên sông Cà ty

Tĩn is an old word, used to refer to a kind of earthenware object, which is widely used to store fish sauce in Phan Thiet from before 1975s. Back to the history of fish sauce, fish sauce originated from an ancient civilization in Europe. People at that time called it “garum”, made by fermenting anchovies, or tunas, with salt and herbs. After that, with the emergence of maritime silk road, Indian merchants brought “garum” to Champa, and later the recipe of this special spice was learned by ancient Vietnamese in the North regions. Over time, “garum” was called fish liquid, and then fish sauce until this day.

Traditional fish sauce, especially Phan Thiet fish sauce, was brewed in wooden barrels, extracted and stored in “Tĩn”, an object made from earthenware with the shape of a small pot. Then, pots of fish sauce were transported by boats from Ca Ty river to sell across Vietnam, from the Central to the North and the South and even exported to neighboring countries.

However, even the oldest artisans in Phan Thiet have no idea about the origin of these earthenware pots. They only know that these pots had already been in existence when the fish sauce making craft was born. At that time, “tĩn” and fish sauce were so inseparable that fishermen often compared the relationship of these two things like fish and water, which cannot be separated. That’s why Phan Thiet fish sauce is sometimes called “Tĩn” fish sauce.

Features of “Tĩn” (earthenware pots)

Tĩn gốm xưa của Phan Thiết

Tĩn is a small pot, made of burnt clay, having a shape of round gourd with a bulge in the middle. Its only use is to store fish sauce. After being aged in wooden barrels, fish sauce is extracted and stored in tĩn. Then, it is covered by a lid, and is sealed by a mixture of lime, molasses and rosewood. Tĩn has been a long-standing and distinctive object to store fish sauce in Phan Thiet from the 19th century. It is also a secret to the distinctive flavor of the local fish sauce. According to ancient artisans, fish sauce marries well with tin. The more time fish sauce is stored in tin, the more robust and tastier flavor is delivered, and fish sauce will be kept intact under any weather condition. That is also the reason why traditional Phan Thiet fish sauce is called “Tĩn” fish sauce.

The name inspired by the ancient earthenware pots

Những tĩn đất nung xưa đựng nước mắm tại nhà Hàm Hộ

The image of earthenware pots, covered with lime, squared-labeled the name of producers, packed along the riverbank of Ca Ty river is the inspiration for today’s “Tĩn” fish sauce. Pots of fish sauce were stacked in tall piles, imitating the firm shape of pyramids, and carried by boats to sell throughout six southern Mekong provinces, and out to the North and the Central. With the concern that the old values of traditional fish sauce may be consigned to oblivion, Lang Chai Xua Fish Sauce Museum built the image of small earthenware pots, having a shape of round gourd with a bulge in the middle and a unique rope handle, imprinting the signature of the old-aged Phan Thiet fish sauce.

Pots of fish sauce with unique rope handles, not only contain precious drops of original fish sauce in it, but also remind us of the long history of synonymous Phan Thiet fish sauce in the old days.

The meaning of the patterns printed on earthenware pots

Tĩn gốm sứ đựng nước mắm rin của bảo tàng làng chài xưa

On the surface of earthenware pots lie unique patterns such as oval-shaped barges, images of tĩn (with the symbol of Phan Thiet waterfall) packed along Ca Ty river. Those patterns along with the name “Tĩn” fish sauce bring a wave of nostalgia about the old glory days of traditional Phan Thiet fish sauce to anyone who have lived from that time. They are also a reminder to young generations of a “national spirit and quintessence” of their country and is the driving force for our brand to advance further on the path of restoring and developing the original taste of 300-year-old pure fish sauce.

Secrets behind the stunning flavor of “Tĩn” fish sauce

Nước mắm Tĩn đựng nước mắm rin của phan thiết

Among many names in the market, why is the Phan Thiet “Tĩn” fish sauce so attractive and trusted by many customers? The answer lies in our original and pure fish sauce, produced by the collection of very valuable “first drops of the first-press”. Under 12 to 24 months of natural aging in wooden barrels, our skilled artisans extracted the first drops, having a thick amber color and a high content of protein level from wild-caught anchovies. “Tĩn” fish sauce brings a robust flavor and a naturally sweet aftertaste, which is unable to forget.

A unique image of “Tin” fish sauce contained in earthenware pots

Today’s “Tin” fish sauce of Lang Chai Xua Fish Sauce Museum is the bridge between conventional values of over 300 years ago and the modern taste of Vietnamese people.

Old label “Tin” fish sauce contained in earthenware pots with rope handles is valuable “first drops of the first-press”, a pure and manually processed fish sauce of traditional taste. It is the “salty sweat” of the efforts and passion of many coastal residents in Phan Thiet, with the desire to maintain and develop the name of local fish sauce in the homeland in particular and Vietnamese fish sauce in general.

Inside each pot are drops of fish sauce, condensed with fish meat, thick amber colored, and a unique aroma imparting the sense of being in a beautiful countryside in Vietnam. When poured into a bowl, you can see the thick body of the sauce, which is very suitable for use with hot rice. For generation 7x and 8x, when savoring drops of “Tĩn” fish sauce, they feel the taste of childhood, once they lived the time of the young days, enjoying delicious meals flavored by fish sauce with their parents. For younger customers, the first time tasting the traditional fish sauce, they feel the richness on the tip of the tongue, the natural sweetness of the fish lingering in the tongue after swallowing. It leaves them with surprise and admiration for a traditional taste. A taste created by their antecedents, with conventional values “live” until today.

“Tin” fish sauce is not simply to eat, but to feel. Feel by taste, by understanding, by admiration and love for a “national spirit and quintessence” of the nation.

The value behind the brand “Tĩn fish sauce”

“Tĩn” fish sauce product line of Lang Chai Xua Fish Sauce Museum is the original and pure fish sauce with the mission to promote the 300-year tradition of Phan Thiet fish sauce. With the passion and efforts of every artisans in the product, Lang Chai Xua Fish Sauce Museum is trying to recover the name of Phan Thiet fish sauce that is gradually being forgotten and threatened by modern industries.

To make the original fish sauce no longer a memory, Lang Chai Xua Fish Sauce Museum will once again revive the taste of a “national soul and quintessence” of Vietnam!

See more the article how to make anchovy fish sauce according to a traditional recipe at home at: