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02/02/2022 - 07:17

Hue specialties for Tet available on e-commerce platform

Eye-catching packages of Phuc linh cookies, banh chung (square-shaped wrapped sticky rice), banh tet (tube-shaped wrapped sticky rice), mut thanh-tra (sugar-crystallized thanh-tra peels), and the forgotten toy figurines are now available on FoodMap as Tet necessities.

Phuc linh cookies, a kind of cookies favored by Hue people, are on FoodMap e-commerce platform

Hue specialties for Tet at one click

These products were included in FoodMap e-commerce platform created by Hue-born Pham Ngoc Anh Tung, founder and director of the UFO Technology and Trading Co., Ltd based in Ho Chi Minh City. Users can choose a traditional Hue specialty at one click.

Accessing the website foodmap.asia, many consumers are impressed by the detailed description of the products. The products are designed and decorated in an eye-catching manner, creating an impression that consumers are at a virtual feast of Hue specialties.

Among many specialties for Tet, Phuc linh cookies are interested by most consumers. It is the favorite kind of cookies that Phan Ngoc Anh Tung and collaborators were determined to process transaction.

Phuc linh cookies appear simple, but it is a meticulous process to make them so that they can have a special taste. This kind of cookies was once rarely made, or made with variations, and thus it was at risk of loss.

Tung said he contacted with a family specializing in Phuc linh cookies through many networks. Saving all the love for Phuc linh cookies, this family is trying to preserve and pass the traditional business on the next generations. Impressed by the story of traditional Hue Phuc linh cookies, FoodMap and partners are determined to develop the product and bring it closer to Vietnamese consumers.

The most important of all, according to Tung, is that they retain the primitive taste. When consumers eat cookies, they will taste something cool and sweet, and feel a smoky flavor.

“They look simple, but each cookie contains the artisan’s care and finesse. The basic ingredients must be fine arrowroot flour, traditional brown sugar and fresh coconut cream. The artisan must press the mold and bake skillfully to produce the cookies that is once eaten never forgotten,” said Tung on explaining why he decided to e-tail this kind of cookies.

In addition to ingredients, the appearance of cookies is also a consideration. Phuc linh cookies have been shaped in brass molds with ancient patterns, making an impression of a Tet in the far-off past. Therefore, Phuc linh cookies were welcomed and ordered by many consumers soon after they were available on foodmap.asia.

The taste of Hue attracting consumers

Not only Hue people living away from home, but also non-Hue people enjoy the taste of Hue in the southern region. Tran Anh Son, a person of Hue origin living in Ho Chi Minh City, ordered many boxes of Phuc linh cookies for Tet treats and gifts.

“Instead of having Hue food bought in Hue and sent to Ho Chi Minh City, now I can have the taste of Hue at one click. Holding the box of Hue specialties in my hand, I had a mixed emotion and felt that Tet was at the doorstep,” said Son.

Apart from Phuc linh cookies, mut thanh-tra (sugar-crystallized thanh-tra peels) was another traditional specialty of Hue available on FoodMap. Tung explained the reason why this kind of sweet (made out of the peels of Thuy Bieu special produce) was put on the e-commerce platform that this specialty has a unique taste that is hard found in any products of other regions.

The peel of thanh-tra (a kind of Pomelo) is cleaned and cut into 3-4 cm sticks to fit the mouth serve and achieve aesthetic purposes. During preparation, these sticks are soaked in alum liquid, then rinsed and boiled to remove the bitter taste before being squeezed and simmered with sugar.

“The meticulousness while making mut thanh-tra lies in how to keep the fire in the oven at regular heat, stir the mixture evenly and realize the time of sugar crystallization. The temperature should not too high, and the sugar liquid should not be too hot so that the sticks absorb sugar well, at the same time remaining some essential oil to create the aromatic flavor of thanh-tra,” said Tung, adding that those were the attractions drawing consumers to place their orders.

Toy figurines on e-commerce platform

Particularly, among the Tet gifts, Tung presented a toy-figurine set of 12 zodiac animals made by Hue artisans. It seemed that this visual art had been lost, but fortunately, Tung managed to contact an artisan in Huong Thuy through many connections, and persuaded him to “revive” this art.

A set of twelve zodiac animals in a gift package makes consumers surprised. Attached to each toy figurine is a story skillfully told by FoodMap, together with messages and wishes for a year of peace and prosperity.

Apart from Hue people living home and away, domestic Hue food fans, international consumers also order Hue specialties. In this way, Tet essence of Hue widely spreads and creates a new brand for the ancient capital impressed by many.

Story and photos: Nhat Minh

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