Thai Nguyen City is popular by not only Tan Cuong tea but also other local specialties such as stuffed pancake in Cao Ngan, bamboo-tube rice in DinhHo and so on. Today, I will introduce one more local specialty what is always appeared in national Lunar New Year holiday. It is the Chung cake in Bo Dau.
Bo Dau is in both Son Cam and Co Lung hamlets, Phu Luong district. Here there has the traditional Chung cake trade village, which is well-known long ago. In war period, Bo Dau Chung cake was famous and shared by long-distance drivers on the northern route.
Ingredients of Bo Dau Chung cake
It is still made from sticky rice, green beans and bacon but with hands of local people in Son Cam, Co Lung Chung cake here has the distinctive flavor not be confused with other places. Bo Dau Chung cake is made from specific sticky rice in Dinh Hoa, which is very glutinous and especially scented. Sticky rice which is removed from grit, non-glutinous corn is rinsed carefully, soaked in water for an hour to hatch rice. Then, it is drained and mixed with a little salt and prepare to be packaged.
Phrynium which is used to package cake is sticky, thick, green and wide-size leaf. Those leaves taken from Na Ri forest, Don market, Bac Kan are washed two sides, drained and cleaned by dried towel. Then, they are stripped down pedicle, leaf top and arranged near rice pot. Bamboo string is made by hands.
Green bean that is made stuffing of rice dumpling is local bean, thin skin and yellow. Bean is broken in two, soaked, washed down skin and mixed with little salt. Selected meat is the delicious bacon from pigs who are in mountain region. It is sliced into big parts, mixed with salt and pepper to be absorbed.
Secret makes Bo Dau Chung cake famous
Local people in Co Lung, Son Cam share own hereditary secret to have the special cakes. According to legend, to make delicious cakes, these people used water in wells in their own village. They make Chung cakes without any kind of mold because they use their hands to make cakes skillfully and square Chung cakes in turn are produced.
Bo Dau Chung cake plays an important role in cultural culinary of people in Thai Nguyen. The days which are close to holidays, Chung cake market is more bustling because local and urban people or neighboring province, city order cakes before the New Year for months. These cakes make Lunar New Year holidays become warmer and more complete. However, Chung cake of Bo Dau is appeared not only in Lunar New Year holiday but also all year round. Thus, all tourists also have chances to enjoy and buy it as a special gift for their friends or families from Thai Nguyen.
When unwrapping a Bo Dau Chung cake, we could feel fresh cool cover, quiet fat stuff of rice dumpling mixed with pungent and scented taste of pepper like whole land and sky are culminating in each cake. And maybe legend of Chung cake is appeared in our mind. We are very proud of this traditional cultural culinary of Vietnam.