US Ambassador makes moon cake to celebrate diplomatic ties with Vietnam hinh anh 1Pham Van Quang, the last moon-cake mold maker in Hanoi, and US Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink (Photo captured from video).

Hanoi (VNA) - US Ambassador to Vietnam Daniel Kritenbrink tried to harmonise the flavours of the US with Vietnam’s traditional delicacies to create a special moon cake in tribute to the Southeast Asian country’s Mid Autumn Festival and the 25th anniversary of the diplomatic relations between the two nations.

A video published on September 30 on the official Facebook page of the US Embassy in Hanoi showed Kritenbrink preparing a batch of mooncakes – a sweet treat commonly eaten to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival in Vietnam.

The US diplomat said he “has always enjoyed the classic mooncake of Vietnam with the traditional fillings.”

This year, however, he decided to put his own spin on the traditional recipe, using blueberries and cream cheese – two all-American baking ingredients – in his unique fusion cake.

“In these mooncakes, our traditions are combined to create something new, dynamic, and actually delicious,” Kritenbrink remarked.

The video also captures Kritenbrink trailing through the bustling traffic and experiencing the busy Hanoi streets ahead of the festival.

“This year is also very special since 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of US-Vietnam diplomatic relations,” Ambassador Kritenbrink said in the video.

“This is a special year for the people of our two countries.

"I’m confident that our relationship and friendship will even grow stronger in the coming years.”

The ambassador sought a craftsman in Hanoi’s Old Quarter to obtain a customised moon cake mold for the celebration of 25 years of the normalisation of the relations between Vietnam and the US.

Quang, a resident on Hang Quat street, Hoan Kiem district, said his family has made moon cake molds for three generations. Coming home after serving the army, Quang started doing his generation-to-generation craft – making mold. He has made moon cake mold in his 10-square-metre shop for more than 40 years.

Besides crafting a mold with logo celebrating the Vietnam-US relations, Quang made two others with two zodiac signs: mouse and buffalo – the animals symbolizing the years of birth of Daniel and his wife.

US Ambassador makes moon cake to celebrate diplomatic ties with Vietnam hinh anh 2Image of the moon cake mold with logo celebrating the Vietnam-US relations (Photo: VietnamPlus)

The busiest time for mold makers is from the 5th to 8th months of the lunar calendar. As he shared, “in the past time, moon cake was a kind of luxury cuisine in Vietnam. Only people in Hanoi city has the conditions to purchase it for worship during the mid-autumn festival”.

“Not only a food, moon-cake crystallizes from Vietnamese rice culture, whose fillings are Vietnam featuring agriculture products such as pork meat, mung bean, lotus seed…”, said the craftsman.

US Ambassador makes moon cake to celebrate diplomatic ties with Vietnam hinh anh 3Quang’s working space on No.59 Hang Quat street (Photo: VietnamPlus) 

Without commercial ads, Quang’s craft store is crowded with varied customers from the north to the south of Vietnam as well as overseas. Many by-pass foreigners feel curious with his job also.

According to Quang, the secret to make a mold is that craftsman must be calm-mind, precise and give his whole mind into the job. Two kinds of wood chosen to make the mold are thi wood and xa cu wood, with moderate firm and flexible structure. Hence, it’s easier to get the cake out of the mold with smooth and complete surface.

US Ambassador makes moon cake to celebrate diplomatic ties with Vietnam hinh anh 4A moon cake mold with Mickey mouse logo (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Besides the traditional cake molds such as carp, daisy, lotus and traditional characters, Quang also makes molds featuring cartoon characters who are favoured by children like Doraemon, Zhu Bajie and customized ones with individual logo, brand…

Quang’s molds are mainly provided for traditional moon cake producers in Hanoi. However, none of his children take up the family’s craft. There’s hardly the second handmade moon cake mold store in Hanoi at the moment./.