Square cake (Banh Chung) is the most popular and delicious Traditional Vietnamese Food and irreplaceable cake of Vietnamese people in the Tet Holidays and King Hung’s anniversary (10th March Lunar). For the Vietnamese, making this cake is the ideal way to express gratitude to their ancestors and homeland.
The legend of Square cake (Banh Chung):
This cake was invented by the 18th Prince of Hung Emperor in the contest of looking for new Emperor. According to the legend, 3,000-4,000 years ago, Prince Lang Lieu, made round and square cakes, the round Day cake symbolizing the sky and the Square cake symbolizing the Earth (under the ancient Vietnamese perception), to be offered on the occasion of Spring.
In the ancient conception, the Earth is square; hence this cake’s shape is square, too, to reflect the Earth shape. Since the cakes he offered were of special meaning and delicious taste, Lang Lieu was selected to be the next Emperor. Since then, in honor of this 18th Prince, Vietnamese people always make and have Square cake in the Lunar New Year.
Up to now, this Traditional Vietnamese Food has become the most famous and irreplaceable food in Tet Holiday. This legend aims to remind the next generations of the ancient tradition as well as the primary of Chung cake. Besides, it emphasizes the important role of rice and nature in water rice culture.
How to make a Chung Cake?
In contrast to the fast food in modern life, the process of making Square cake is time-consuming and requires the contribution of several people. Main ingredients are glutinous rice, pork meat, and green beans wrapped in a square of bamboo leaves that will give the rice a green color after boiling. The sticky rice must be very good and was soaked in water in the previous day.
Rice cake is wrapped in square shape, and the wrapping power must be neither tight nor loose. Then the cake will be boiled in about 12 hours by wood. The green has nutrition with an original tasty flavor and may be kept for a long time. Eating this food with soured chinese shallot (Củ Kiệu) will bring you unforgettable taste! Do not miss this Traditional Vietnamese Food for the Tet holiday at Vietnam.
From EZ Vietnamese Cuisine Team.