Mr. Doan Khoi's family is busy making chung and tet cakes for the Lunar New Year market
People in Chuon Village, Phu An Commune (Phu Vang District) have passed down the tradition of making chung cakes and tet cakes (cylindrical glutinous rice cakes) through generations for hundreds of years. According to the elders in the village, the tet cakes from Chuon village are famous for their delicious taste. The cakes are delicious not only thanks to fresh ingredients, but also the elaborate wrapping technique, which includes selecting banana leaves, packing the filling, wrapping the cakes and cooking the cakes. Products of Chuon village always maintain the green color of the leaves, the aroma of the filling, and the stickiness of the glutinous rice.
Mr. Doan Khoe has over 40 years’ experience making tet cakes. At his home, 15 workers are busy wrapping the cakes, trimming the ends, and tying them up to create delicious chung and tet cakes. By the kitchen fire, thousands of cakes come out of the boiling pot, ready to be transported to supermarkets. This year, through Tam Hue Food Facility at Thuy Duong ward (Huong Thuy), Mr. Doan Khoe’s household has made 30 tons of cakes to supply to supermarkets and stores across the country.
Delicious flavor of Chuon village’s cakes
From the combination between the artisans of Chuon village and Tam Hue Food Facility, over the last three years, nearly 100 tons of cakes of all kinds have appeared on supermarkets’ shelves nationwide. They are present in large distribution channels such as Big C, Co.opMart, and food store chains across the country, bringing Hue Tet flavor to every home.
This year, Tam Hue Food Facility signed a contract with the Big C Vietnam supermarket chain and the Saigon Union of Trading Co-operatives (Co.opMart) to provide about 20 tons of cakes. The rest will be provided to traditional shops and markets in and outside the province.
"Never before has our family made 30 tons of cakes in 15 days. This is a great encouragement to help people preserve and promote the traditional trade of our ancestors. The more famous and well-received the village’s cakes are, the more enthusiastic and confident the villagers will be in their products," said Mr. Doan Viet, who has more than 50 years of experience.
Since 2016, after Tam Hue Food Facility linked production and distribution, and sent the food for quality control testing, the facility has now supplied its cakes to Co.opMart supermarkets nationwide, including the supermarket in Hue. At present, the consumption of products is quite good and the facility is continuing to sign a reserve contract to ensure sufficient quantities of Chuon village’s cakes to offer customers.
Tam Hue Food Facility owner, Pham Thi Khanh Tam, has over 15 years of experience in processing specialty products from Hue. Since 2016, her facility has worked with the people of Chuon village to create cakes that meet the requirements of food hygiene and safety by packaging with vacuum technology and labeling with the Tam Hue brand.
In order to have 30 tons of cakes for the New Year market, the establishment had to store glutinous rice, green beans, banana leaves and transported them continuously to provinces and cities. Compared with the Lunar New Year in 2017, the price of cakes this year remained stable. However, the production increased by over 30% due to the higher demand.
According to Ms. Tam, aside from having good quality and meeting hygiene and food safety criteria, the cakes have to look nice and “eye-catching”. Therefore, in addition to the emphasis on quality, her facility is always testing new packaging designs while monitoring the process of wrapping and cooking the cakes so that they remain always green and delicious.
Story and photos: Thanh Huong