Trang Bang dew-wetted rice paper honoured

Friday, 2018-12-21 13:56:34
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Dew-wetted rice paper - a delicious and special food of Trang Bang land
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NDO – On December 20, a cultural and tourism week officially opened in Trang Bang district, the southern province of Tay Ninh, aiming to honour ‘banh trang’ (rice paper).

Over the course of the week, a wide variety of attractive activities are taking place. These include the performance of making Trang Bang rice paper by local artisans; an arts programme; a culinary festival of Trang Bang rice paper and ‘banh canh’ (rice noodle); an introduction and organisation of tours for visitors to pick wild vegetables along Vam Co Dong river; and a display of traditional handicrafts from local trade villages.

A representative from Tay Ninh provincial People’s Committee said that dew-soaked rice paper is a special dish of Trang Bang, which has been handed down and preserved over the past century. With a unique taste, it has become a familiar image and an indispensable food not only for local people but also for visitors.

The craft of making Trang Bang dew-soaked rice paper was recognised as a national intangible cultural heritage in 2016, which has created favourable conditions for the local villages to develop. The recognition not only shows a pride for Tay Ninh but also requires the relevant provincial agencies to uphold their responsibility in preserving and promoting the brand of Trang Bang rice paper.

In order to make rice paper, households in a village have to undertake different stages, including milling powder, weaving grills for drying paper, building ovens to cook the paper. Those who have more capital buy sheets of rice paper to bake and wet under the dew and then sell them to restaurants.

According to artisan Nguyen Thi Nhieu, in addition to baking and drying the rice paper under the sunlight, many households put the rice paper under the dew in early morning so that the sheets of rice paper can be soft. This phase lasts from only tens of minutes up to several hours, depending on the weather conditions.

Artisan Nhieu’s family makes an average 6,000 – 8,000 sheets of rice paper each day, with over 10,000 during the peak times. The local people earn a profit of VND15,000 – VND20,000 for each set of 1,000 rice papers.

The craft of making rice paper in Trang Bang district was formed in the 18th century when people from the central region went and broke fresh ground in Tay Ninh. The dew-wetted rice paper is a delicious dish when eaten with boiled pork meat and dozens of wild vegetables such as cinnamon, bean sprouts, young mango leaves.