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The traditional cakes of Southern Vietnam go far and wide
Date: 03/06/2023

The leading global culinary publication TasteAtlas has included two traditional cakes from Southern Vietnam, namely Banh chuoi (banana cake) and Banh da lon (pig skin cake), in the top 100 most delicious sweet cakes in the world. This demonstrates the appeal and worldwide popularity of these rural cakes.
On the left is a freshly steamed banana cake steamer and on the right is a plate with a slice of pig skin cake.

In the list of the 100 most delicious sweet cakes in the world released by TasteAtlas, only Vietnam and Indonesia from the Southeast Asian region have their names represented with delicious cakes. Expanding to the Asian region, even countries with strong traditional and folk cuisine such as China and South Korea do not have any renowned cakes listed. This indicates that the presence of banana cake and pig skin cake is something to be proud of for Vietnamese cuisine in general, and specifically for the traditional cakes of Southern Vietnam.

Previously, TasteAtlas, renowned as the "world food atlas," also honored Vietnam's pig skin cake in 2021. This year, the pig skin cake is ranked 99th in the top 100. TasteAtlas described this dish as follows: "This traditional Vietnamese dessert consists of layers of chewy texture made from mashed mung beans, tapioca starch, rice flour, and coconut milk. According to tradition, each cake has a pale-yellow layer made from mung beans and a vibrant green layer with the flavor and color of pandan leaves, while optional ingredients may include durian or taro. After steaming and chilling, the cakes are typically cut into triangular shapes".

This year's list also features the appearance of banana cake, ranked 72nd in the ranking. TasteAtlas introduces it as follows: "Banana is the main ingredient in this traditional Vietnamese dessert, which can be steamed or baked. It typically consists of sliced bananas combined with condensed milk, sugar, coconut milk, and optional ingredients such as bread, eggs, or grated coconut. Depending on the ingredients and cooking process, the cakes can vary in shape and texture, while other variations include fried banana cakes or combinations with additional ingredients and flavors. Steamed versions are often sprinkled with sesame seeds and drizzled with coconut milk."

The descriptions provided by TasteAtlas are highly accurate, demonstrating a meticulous understanding and thorough consultation regarding the traditional cakes of Southern Vietnam. Furthermore, these achievements also highlight the international recognition of the culinary skills, flavors, attractiveness, and deliciousness of the traditional cakes from Southern Vietnam. Many artisans specializing in traditional cakes from Southern Vietnam in Can Tho City were delighted to hear this news as it signifies that their regional cakes have reached a global audience. Artisan Truong Thi Chieu (Binh Thuy district) believes that these are the types of cakes that most people from Southern Vietnam have enjoyed, as they are easy to make and the ingredients are readily available and affordable. However, banana cake and pig skin cake are indispensable in the feasts, ancestral worship ceremonies, and festivals of the people from Southern Vietnam.

TasteAtlas has bestowed an international brand upon these two traditional cakes. This also presents an advantage for the tourism industry to exploit and introduce to domestic and foreign tourists, adding a delectable touch to their journey of exploring the water-rich Western region, evoking a sense of nostalgia for a delightful delicacy.

Can Tho News - Translated by Hoang Dat

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