I mentioned a couple days ago that I've been very interested, lately, in my 50-smoothie fold-out that came with my latest Food Network Magazine. One of the smoothies in particular caught my eye as something worth trying, especially now that I've overcome my fear of cold coffee. It's the Vietnamese Coffee smoothie, and it's pretty darn good.
Basically, it's a Frappuccino, or a frappe for you non-Starbucksers. Chilled coffee, sweetened condensed milk, ice, and chocolate on top. You could totally just put sweetened condensed milk and coffee over ice and you'd have Vietnamese coffee without the smoothie part, which I'm sure would be good, too. But there's something about the texture of this, with all the ice nicely blended it (I had to chip some ice off a big block of it that used to be a bag of ice, and it went into the blender mostly crushed already, so I got a lovely, pillowy consistency). And topped with just a tiny bit of chocolate, it's great. I don't even need to taste the chocolate--it's really a light sprinkle on top, and you don't get chocolate in every gulp--just the aroma mixed with the coffee is lovely. I used a 60% cocoa chocolate, grated it over my glass, barely a fraction of a chocolate square.
Of course, sitting here drinking my Vietnamese coffee, I don't have any of the scenery I might have in Vietnam. I have a view of the house next door. Someday, maybe I'll visit, and have real Vietnamese coffee in the real Vietnam.