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05/01/2018 - 15:00

Sugarcane for King

It is also called as “rice wine sugarcane” because in the past, it took some time to transport the sugarcane from Thanh Hoa to Hue imperial city, while this kind of sugarcane had the high sweetness which tended to ferment easily. As a result, this sugarcane had the aroma of violet rice wine.

Sugarcane “for King” is brownish purple and tenderly sweet 

The sugarcane with its popular nickname of “rice wine sugarcane” is in fact the sugarcane variety used to offer the King in the old days. It originates from the Kim Tan sugarcane (Thach Thanh district, Thanh Hoa province)

Legend has it that when King Quang Trung marched his army to the North to defeat the Qing invaders, they stopped at Kim Tan. There, the King enjoyed and loved a delicious, strange and valuable sugarcane variety. After routing the Qing invaders, King Quang Trung issued an order to organize a sugarcane festival at Pho Cat (Thanh Hoa).

In the Nguyen dynasty, the Kim Tan sugarcane was annually transported to Hue imperial city to offer the Kings. The top and bottom of the sugarcane plant were given to farmers for breeding, and this sugarcane variety has been cultivated on the land of Hue city up to now.

The rice wine sugarcane is of the same family as the purple sugarcane variety which has the big and high stalk, spaced internodes, small nodes, and dark purple-tinged red sheath. However, the fiber of the purple sugarcane is milky white, while that of the rice wine sugarcane is brownish red.

Despite its delicious flavor and high nutritional value, it is not easy to cultivate this sugarcane variety, and its productivity is not as much as others’. Yet, its selling price is many times higher than that of common sugarcane varieties.

The farmers in Quang Dien said that when cultivated in Hue, the rice wine sugarcane grows well in high well-drained alluvial soils of river basins. The Bo River alluvial basin made a “metropolis” of this valuable sugarcane variety in Quang Phu commune.

In lunar October, November, December, sugarcane is harvested. At this time, the rice wine sugarcane is sold almost in all markets in Hue. This sugarcane is chewed as a “nosh” instead of being pressed for juice.

Traders will come to meet the owners of sugarcane farms and buy wholesale; after that they will transport the sugarcanes by trucks to sell everywhere. Due to its high quality and eye-catching look, this sugarcane “for King” is very popular with Hue consumers.

Story, photo: Ngoc Hoa

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