A Vietnamese family in Vitra prepares chong cake (square glutinous rice cake), Vietnam’s traditional New Year’s cake. — Photo by VIA/VNS
VITRÉ – Every year the leader Tet (Lunar New Year) The family of Le Anh Tuan, an expatriate Vietnamese living in Vitre, France, gathers to prepare two traditional Vietnamese dishes.
Vitré is a small town in northwestern France. About 40 Vietnamese families live here. From a group of young people working in local meatpacking plants, after 20 years the Vietnamese community in Vitre expanded.
This year, despite the fact that all the festive events of the Vietnamese community in France were canceled due to the pandemic, the Tuan family still maintains the tradition of cooking Chang pie (square sticky rice cake) and rolls (pork roll).
He and his wife went shopping to buy glutinous rice, green beans, dongs leaves and bamboo threads.
Tuan said that despite the pandemic, it was not difficult to buy ingredients imported from Vietnam to cook Chang cake.
“The Vietnam Association in Vitra will not hold New Year’s Eve this year. But the family still decided to do Chang cake because it is a tradition of the Vietnamese people,” he said. Vietnamplus.
“The Vietre Vietnamese community has not been able to gather to celebrate the Lunar New Year for two years due to COVID-19. But the Vietnamese families here still do Chang cake and rolls to remind children of their traditional New Year’s Eve dishes.”
This year the Tuan family baked a cake with the Nguyen Xuan Kong family, a Vietnamese family living next door. Two families baked 50 cakes for themselves and gifts.
Cường said that the packaging of the cake made them remember their homeland. He started making his first cake two years ago and did everything quickly, including laying out the leaves, pouring the rice, laying out the meat, and packaging.
In just a few minutes, he can complete a square cake.
“Signature of Mr. Chang the cake made in Vitra is made from pork. The pigs here are raised on milk for six months before slaughter, so the meat is pink and white, which makes the cake more moist and delicious,” Tsong said.
After the morning, 50 cakes are finished and put on the stove for cooking.
Tuan said that the flatbreads are steamed on a gas stove, not on charcoal. “It makes the job less hard, but we don’t have the kind of atmosphere where everyone comes together like in Vietnam,” he said.
Meanwhile, Nguyen Van Nguyen and his wife Nguyen Thi Luong are busy sausage.
On ordinary days, his family earns only rolls if there are orders.
Nguyen said the pork should be carefully selected and fresh. Vitre is a meat and poultry production and processing area, so the pork in this region is better than anywhere else.
Overseas Vietnamese in a vitre wrap Vietnamese pork rolls in banana leaves brought from Vietnam. — Photo by VIA/VNS
If you want to do Chang the cake is green, you have to wrap it dongs leaves and if you want rolls To make it tasty, you need to wrap it with banana leaves.
Imported banana leaves are expensive in Vitra. There are three price levels for rolls: the most expensive ones are those made from frozen banana leaves imported from Vietnam; the second most expensive is made from molds and one layer of banana leaves; the cheapest are wrapped in plastic. — VNS