The city of Hue has a ton of interesting history. It was once the capital of Vietnam. In fact, it was the first city to be capital when the country was finally united from China to the Gulf of Thailand. Chosen for its strategic location (in the middle of the country), Hue was named the capital by Gia Long, the first emperor of Vietnam's last dynasty, the Nguyen dynasty. Gia Long moved to Hue and immediately started construction of the Hue Citadel, the Hue Imperial City, and the Forbidden Purple City, where he and his family lived. Over the course of the next 150 years, there were many emperors, and - thankfully - they all liked food. A meal could consist of 50 courses. Several hundred men were recruited to hunt, fish, and gather. The best ingredients from all over Vietnam was sent in. The courses were small, and served on porcelain saucers decorated with the famous "Hue blue". The cooks were usually from the village of Phuoc Yen, where the Nguyens had devoted support. Eunuchs would bring the food to the emperor, because sexually active men couldn't be trusted around the emperor's concubines. Every dish would be tasted by a food taster to insure it wasn't poisoned. When the emperor was ready to eat, special chopsticks that turned color upon contact with poison were used only once per bite.
Of course, not all the dishes have survived since the fall of the empire. Some, like the south's crocodiles, are just not available anymore, but some of the really special dishes, the ones that had ingredients that the normal Vietnamese person could get and that were very delicious, are now popular in Hue and the rest of Vietnam.