“Sweet Feast”- A Traditional Style of Old Hanoi Capital

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There are many delicious dishes having been disappeared but little traditional cakes are always associated with traditional New Year and in the minds of Hanoians.

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In the traditional tray on Tet holiday of Hanoians, apart from Chung cake, sticky rice with chicken, little cakes bring quintessence of Vietnam cuisine culture. In the past, Tet holiday in Hanoi had two kinds of feasts: salt feast and sweet feast. The sweet feast has from 4 to 6 different cakes. Every old Hanoians knew Gac cake, Manh Cong cake or nine cloud layer cakes, etc. which are typical cakes in the past sweet feast. The sweet feast also shows skill and hard work of elegant Hanoi girls.

Manh Cong cakes

banh manh cong

The name “mảnh cộng” seems strange to young generation now. It may be exist in the mind of Hanoians. According to folk stories, the cake was a precious medicine full of calcium. It was not only tasty but also good for human’s bone.

mảnh cộng leaves are now very rare and cake makers have to use a separate land area to grow it. It requires skillful and hearted chefs to make these eye-catching pearl-color cakes, fragrant scent of leaves and sticky rice. First, grind leaves, then get its water and mixed with glutinous rice and mung bean for filling, then steamed and mixed with white sugar and sliced coconut. Rice flour is rounded, then coated around the filling, next, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed. Enjoying a piece of cake is enough to feel the cool taste of grass and sweetness of green beans.

Gac cakes

banh gac

A tray in Tet Holiday can not miss red color of gac fruit: the salt feast with red sticky rice and the sweet feast with light red gac cakes. The traditional gac cake is made from red gac meat that is mixed with fragrant sticky rice powder. On Hanoi Tet Holiday, beside green rice cakes, families often present a dish of scarlet Gac cakes to invite guests with desire to bring prosperity and luck for the New Year.

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