Newsletter February, 2021 – 10 Sweet Specialties from Different Regions of Vietnam (Part 2)

6. Mut Rong Sun – local sweet specialty of Ninh Thuan, Vietnam

Ninh Thuan cuisine is extremely special with the interference and harmony of the Central area and Cham culinary culture. As a land encompassing both coral blue beaches and emerald green mountains, it is the birthplace of many distinctive specialties including seafood, dishes from mountain goats or sheep. Besides, Ninh Thuan cuisine is also very famous for sweet-flavored snacks, the most prominent of which is Mut Rong Sun.

Mut Rong Sun – local sweet specialty of Ninh Thuan, Vietnam

Mut Rong Sun is made of edible red seaweed which contains many minerals, trace elements, iodine, amino acids, vitamins … These elements bring about numerous benefits to people’s health. Chewing this food is full of excitement as you can feel the crunchiness, softness, and chewiness all at the same time. Mut Rong Sun is also an ideal cooling dish, especially on scorching hot summer days.

7. Keo Siu Chau – local sweet specialty of Nam Dinh, Vietnam

Keo Siu Chau, or Siu Chau Candy, is a famous specialty of Nam Dinh province. This candy is special in that when eaten, it feels crunchy without sticking to the teeth. Enjoying this candy with a cup of hot tea on a fresh drizzling morning is a must-have experience for visitors coming to Nam Dinh.

Keo Siu Chau – local sweet specialty of Nam Dinh, Vietnam

Freshly baked Siu Chau Candy has a very beautiful amber color. It is fragrant, crispy, and not smelly or soggy. According to villagers’ share, the secret is pure hand-cooked sugar evenly blended into each crispy roasted peanut, plus flavored glutinous powder surrounding the candy bar.

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8. Banh It – local sweet specialty of Binh Dinh, Vietnam

Located in the South Central Coast of Vietnam, Binh Dinh is where the Tay Son dynasty bearing the spirit of martial arts was built. Binh Dinh cuisine contains the pure simple taste of home, which always reminds travelers of their homeland when traveling far away.

Banh It – local sweet specialty of Binh Dinh, Vietnam

On this Martial arts land, there is a famous line of verse: “To eat Banh It La Gai, marry a guy from Binh Dinh land.” Banh It, or It Cake, is Binh Dinh’s own special gift. The cake is so delicious that everyone compliments on their first taste, having to buy some afterward as gifts. There is a reason for that: the moment the cake touches the tip of the tongue, a fatty, sweet, and fragrant taste oozes right from its soft juicy shell, enticing people so much that they cannot wait to have the first bite. 

In addition to familiar ingredients like glutinous rice flour, green bean and coconut are also used for the stuffing of sweet It cakes, while shrimp meat is used for savory ones. There is also a special juice from ramie (heart-shaped serrate leaves). This type of juice brings to the cake a beautiful black color, cool aroma, and is also the origin of the name “Banh It La Gai”.

9. Banh Dau Xanh – local sweet specialty of Hai Duong, Vietnam

Hai Duong is a province in the Red River Delta of northern Vietnam. When it comes to Hai Duong cuisine, a must-not-forget mention is Banh Dau Xanh or green bean cake. This is a traditional gift brought along by most Hai Duong people as gifts to friends or fellow-men when traveling far. Hai Duong owns many famous Banh Dau Xanh brands such as Tien Dung, Hoa An, Bao Hien Rong Vang, … At each factory, villagers have a distinctive secret recipe that creates differences in each brand’s flavor.

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Banh Dau Xanh – local sweet specialty of Hai Duong, Vietnam

Banh Dau Xanh has a light sweet taste. The fattiness of green beans, the aroma of natural grapefruit oil, with the association of high-quality ingredients and baking techniques, all combine to make a smart flavorful cake favored by many people. This cake enjoyed with hot lotus tea on a fresh morning is one of the most wonderful gifts to busy workers seeking peace and balance in daily life.

10. Banh Pia – local sweet specialty of Soc Trang, Vietnam

Coming to Soc Trang, not only can visitors enjoy the beauty of ancient temples or participate in joyful festivals bearing the identity of the three ethnic groups Kinh, Hoa, and Khmer, but they can also enjoy spectacularly delicious cakes of this place. A feature of Soc Trang cakes is Banh Pia, a specialty of the Southern River region.

Banh Pia – local sweet specialty of Soc Trang, Vietnam

Banh Pia has another name which is “skin peeling cake”, owing to numerous thin layers which people can peel forever yet still cannot touch the cake’s center. The cake skin is made from flour and fat or cooking oil. It is the fat that helps the skin form numerous layers instead of sticking together when baked.

The center of the cake is made from green beans and durian. Green beans are soaked, then peeled, steamed, and crushed. Both green beans and durian have to be stirred in oil and sugar until much of the water has been cooked away and the puree thickened, then they should be kept separate. This is the most important step in making sure baked Banh Pia is soft and smooth.

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Learning about the culture of a country is very essential before entering it. Noble Network hopes this newsletter has provided you some interesting information about Vietnamese cuisine – one of the unique characters in Vietnamese culture.   

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