Vietnamese people have been making or buying Banh Troi (floating cakes) and Banh Chay (lean cake) to offer to ancestors and share among family members in celebration of Tet Han Thuc (or says Cold Food Festival). These dishes have long been known for their pure white colour. Yet, colourful dishes of Banh Troi and Banh Chay have become an emerging trend among modern families. Join us for more.

Banh Troi – Banh Chay festival falls on the third day of the third lunar month. People in the past used to prepare the cakes themselves to offer to ancestors to show their gratitude. As people are now busier, lots of people opt for ready-made cakes.

Floating and lean cakes have long been pure white glutinous rice. However, there are some vivid colours being added to the cakes in recent years. Nuong Bac workshop is among noticeable names for delivering five-colour cakes. The cakes are coated with vibrant colours from natural ingredients – pumpkin for yellow, magenta plant for purple, red from gac fruit, matcha for green and rice for pure white.

Preparing ingredients require considerable efforts. Yet, steps to make the cakes are quite simple. The stuffing of banh troi is a piece of dark brown sugar and banh chay is steamed green bean paste mixed with sugar and coconut. Sesames are sprinkled on top of the cake to make them look more flavourful.

The banh chay is larger than banh troi and served with a sweet soup made of tapioca, grated ginger root and sugar.

"Young people now are quite busy so they don’t have much time to make the cakes themselves. So our work is to deliver the most stunning and delicious products to consumers," said Vu Thu Ha, cake maker of Nuong Bac workshop.

Vu Quoc Anh, consumer said that these ready-made coloured Banh Troi & Banh Chay is suitable for busy young people, and he is very confident regarding the food safety of the cakes as well.

Vietnamese Cold Food Festival is held in memory of the great contributions of ancestors. Amid fast-paced social development, these five-colour dishes of floating and lean cakes greatly help preserve Vietnamese traditional values.-VNA