Traditional cakes

The cuisine of each ethnic minority contains unique cultural features, including many traditional cakes that are indispensable during holidays and Tet. During Tet, if the Bo Y ethnic people have banh khoai, the Mong people have banh day, the Tay people have black banh chung…, the Giay community cannot lack three types of cakes: banh bong, banh khac and banh chung. banh chung gou. Usually around the 25th and 26th of December, the Giay people in Sapa Vietnam start making traditional burn cakes to prepare for year-end parties and Lunar New Year days. For the Giay people, whether rich or poor, having hot cakes on Tet is fun and full. These types of cakes are offered by the Giay people to their ancestors to report on the results of their labor in a year, and to pray to their ancestors for health, luck, and a good harvest. The steps to make a burnt cake are not simple.

The rice used to make fried rice cake is selected very carefully. It must be round and even grain for the cake to be delicious and beautiful. Mr. Hoang A Lieng, Ta Van commune, Sapa Vietnam introduces how to make fried rice cake in each step as follows: Boil rice into sticky rice, cook until cooked, then sprinkle flour so that the rice grains do not stick together. Then, people gently press the rice grains to make them thin and flat, then dry them so they don’t get moldy. Near the day of making the feast, the rice is roasted and mixed with sugar. After mixing the roasted rice with sugar, it is put into a large bowl to make a mold and placed on a high peak to place on the ancestral altar. The fragrant sticky rice cake, sweet with the taste of sugar made from molasses, fragrant with ginger juice, has a very special flavor. Banh Kha is often made by Giay ethnic people around December 26 and 27 to invite guests or as gifts for each other during Tet. Basically, the first steps of making Banh Khay are the same as making Banh Kho. However, after being thoroughly roasted, the rice is ground into fine powder and then taken to the “ground” for about 2 to 3 days for the dough to expand. The “recipe” for preparing this dish is to mix flour with crushed sugar and mix well until the dough becomes sticky. After that, take a bottle or a round wooden stick and roll it back and forth until the dough is smooth and soaked in sugar, then use a mold or a bowl as a mold to close the cake.

As for banh chung, different from the square banh chung of the Kinh people, banh chung of the Giay people has two tapered ends, the middle part is bulging, so the cake is also called banh gou. The elders said that in order to make a rather elaborate banh chung, the ingredients for making the cake must be carefully selected. The dong leaves used to wrap the cake are leaves taken from the forest, the size of the leaves is moderate, the upland sticky rice must be delicious, evenly seeded sticky rice grown by the people themselves, filled with green beans and peeled off the skin. An indispensable important part is choosing pork, which must be thinly sliced pork belly, marinated with spices and grilled cardamom. When the ingredients were fully prepared, the sisters and mothers began to wrap the cakes. The cake is wrapped very cleverly so that the cake is sealed and the rice does not fall out. The pork used to fill the cake is spread evenly so that when eating, no matter where the cake is cut, there must be meat in each piece of cake. Ms. Hoang Thi Bich, from in Sapa Vietnam said: “The cake must have a higher hunchback, more balanced, and more beautiful. Looking at the cake, you can see the woman.” “It’s clever or not. Beautiful cakes are chosen to worship ancestors. Each time incense is burned, there must be 7 cakes. After two days, the cakes can be taken off the altar.” The common point of the Giay people’s cakes is that they are all made from ingredients they make themselves, in this way they can show respect for their grandparents and ancestors.

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