Missions of Nuoc mam Tin
Retrieve the best fish sauce from 300 years ago
In the year of 1693, followed Nguyen Huu Canh, the first fishermen explored Hamu Lithit area (former name of Phan Thiet town, the metropolis of a coastal province in Central Vietnam, 200kms from Saigon). They learned the fermenting process to make fish sauce from the Cham. This process was brought to Vietnam from Roman Italy by the Indian merchants via the Silk Road. Being extracted from the huge wooden barrels, bottled in “tin” followed the unique recipes, “Nuoc mam Tin” became the nationwide top-seller fish sauce at that time.
Meanings of printed patterns on the earthenware pot (“Tĩn”)
The earthenware pot (“Tĩn”) with rope handle
Years ago, to make it easier to carry around or displayed at the market, they bottled fish sauce in tĩn after extracted from the enormous wooden barrels. Tĩn is a small round-gourd-shape type of bottle, made of baked clay and covered with a mixture of lime, molasses and dodder fluid. Outside the “tĩn” are straps made of rattan, bamboo, or rope.
Old water tower in Phan Thiet
The other side of the Cà Ty river is the old water tower, which is the iconic landmark of Phan Thiet and fish sauce originating from this area as well.
Small boats deliver “tĩn” on Cà Ty river
Those small rowing boats with sails were used to delivers hundreds of piled up “tĩn” filled with fish sauce.
Old square stamp
In the past, after bottled and sealed the fish sauce, they stuck a square label with a red stamp on it as a trademark.