Culture Culture

02/08/2018 - 08:51

Hands-on experience making Hue cakes

Within the framework of the exhibition "Huong sac banh Hue" (The tastes of Hue’s cakes), on July 31st, Hue Cultural Museum in collaboration with Children’s House organized a traditional cake-making experience activity for children.

The children were divided into 4 teams to experience making phu thê cake (the Vietnamese conjugal cake), bánh in (imprint/seal cake), molding fruit cake, or banh bong cay (blossom cake)

Visiting the exhibition “The tastes of Hue’s cakes”, children were briefed about Hue cakes and their traditional flavors by a local guide from Hue Cultural Museum. It was fascinating knowing about the different origins and stories, along with distinctive cultural values of each type of cake. Some cakes travelled all the way from Northern provinces to the king's palace; some followed the beauties from Southern areas to enter the royal life, while others were known since the history of Nguyen Dynasty’s establishment in Đàng Trong (the Cochinchina).

Competing teams to make phu thê cake (Vietnamese conjugal cake)

Real experiencing to make cake was the most fascinating section. With the guidance from artisans, 24 children were divided into 4 teams making phu thê cake (the Vietnamese conjugal cake), bánh in (imprint/seal cake), molding fruit cake, and banh bong cay (blossom cake). For the first time involved in the cake-making process, these children were even more interested when trying to produce cakes they never tasted.

Le Ky Dung, a 4th grader at Le Loi Primary School, said: "I have not tried fruit cakes yet, so I was very eager to mold little cakes in peach shape and tasted them myself. Making these cakes was quite complicated for me, but thanks to the dedicated guidance from the artisan, I could complete ones as expected."

At old age, artisan Nguyen Xuan Lang (from Quang Thanh commune, Quang Dien district) seemed weary after guiding children how to make cakes. However, he was truly pleased: "This is the first time I helped little kids to make bánh sâm (ginseng-shaped cake). At first, the children looked baffled, but with detailed instructions, every child could do it. I’m glad to see younger generations’ interest in traditional cakes".

According to Hue Cultural Museum, this experience did not only promote the diversity and uniqueness of Hue traditional cakes, but also created a beneficial summer day for the children to get to know and learn about Hue's culinary art of cake making. Ms. Nguyen Hong Hoa Tranh, Director of Hue Cultural Museum said: "This activity helps children to have the opportunity to experience traditional cakes and offer them a better understanding of Hue folk cakes, hence develop their own passion for local culinary delights. In the coming time, the museum will try to organize more cultural experiences for children, such as making Hue kite, listening to Hue chamber music, and learning about Hue Traditional Craft Festival

Ms. Huynh Thi Ngoc Que, from Hue Children's House said, "Visiting the exhibition space of Hue cakes also helps children to develop their creativity and bring art to life by participating in cake making. From this experience, Hue Children's House will organize a follow-up painting contest about Hue cake for children.”

Some photos of cake making experience day:

Attending to molding fruit cakes

Creating a mold for phu thê cake (the Vietnamese conjugal cake)

Sisters making bánh sâm (ginseng-shaped cake)

Making bánh in (imprint/seal cake) ...

and the outcomes

Video footage of little children making bánh sâm (ginseng-shaped cake)

News, photos & video: Minh Hien

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