Banh Tet – South taste

Bánh tét are traditional to and most popular in southern Vietnam. Bánh tét is a must have traditional food in Vietnamese Lunar New Year. It demonstrates the importance of rice in the Vietnamese culture as well historical value.

Bánh tét are traditional to and most popular in southern Vietnam. A similar food (though rectangular in shape) called bánh chưng in the north. According to historian Trần Quốc Vượng, bánh tét is a version of bánh chưng derived during Vietnam’s process of Nam tiến (southward expansion) in the 17th century. According to legend, bánh chưng was first made 4,000 years ago by Prince Lang Lieu. The cakes were round and squared shape, the round Day cake symbolizing the sky and the square Chung cake symbolizing the Earth.

Bánh tét is a must have traditional food in Vietnamese Lunar New Year. It demonstrates the importance of rice in the Vietnamese culture as well historical value. During Vietnamese Tét, family members would gather together and enjoy feasting on bánh tét, the central food of this festive Vietnamese holiday to celebrate the coming of spring. The process of making bánh tét is time consuming, but a tradition that many families still practice even in this modern society where pre-made bánh tétare sold virtually in every Vietnamese store. It is the effort that counts and many choose to spend time with their family to create the holiday treat the traditional way. The process of making bánh tét is to provide an opportunity for family members to bond and come together to celebrate the holiday spirit.

The process of making bánh tét usually begins the day before Tét where the ingredients are prepared then cooked for at least six hours in a pot of boiling water. The first step is assembling the ingredients – glutinous rice and mung bean paste and cooked pork fat. Next, the ingredients are layered on top of banana leaves before wrapped together tightly with strings. To prevent the banana leaf from coming apart during cooking, bánh tét are usually wrapped again several times with a length of plastic ribbon before boiling in a large pot of water.

 

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