US Ambassador finds Vietnamese thousand years of knowledge in Chung cake
(VNF) – “It was my pleasure to meet and learn how to make Banh chung with "Knowledge Artisan" Anh Tuyet yesterday. I was deeply honored to be able to learn about Vietnamese traditional culture. My main impression when putting together the Banh chung is that I was studying thousands of years of knowledge and culture of the Vietnamese people,” said US Ambassador Daniel Kritenbrink.
Artisan Anh Tuyet demonstrate the arrangement of Chung cake's filling. (photo: Phi Yen)
As a citizen of a multi-culture country, Ambassador Kritenbrink, who has been working as a diplomat in nearly 25 years, have the chance to experience the world's different cuisines, including those from Vietnam.
As the Lunar New Year (Tet) is drawing near, the Ambassador captured the occasion to gain insight of Vietnamese festive food, particularly the Chung cake.
Even though he is familiar with the taste, the recipe remains a myth.
That’s the reason why the Ambassador decided to take part in a Chung cake wrapping class, instructed by Hanoian famous artisan in culinary art, Anh Tuyet.
Having been working in the gastronomy field for over 40 years, artisan Anh Tuyet has the opportunity to introduce Vietnamese culinary arts to many foreign friends, including diplomats like the Ambassador of the UK and Italy.
Her presentation on chung cake making process has fascinated the Ambassador.
The Ambassador sleeves up to make his first Chung cake ever. (photo: Phi Yen)
Since the beginning, the Ambassador had already shown his amazement and surprise when he learned about the nature-friendly ingredients: The galangal leaves (lá riềng) to color the skin of the cake, and phrynium leaves (lá dong) to wrap, instead of using plastic package.
He spent time listening carefully to the artisan's instruction in every step and enthusiatically posed question in area he was unsure.
As this is the first time handing on making Chung cake, the Ambassador admitted he faced with lots of pressure throughout the whole process.
“Making a chung cake is much complicated than I thought” and added that the most difficult part was tying the cake with bamboo string.
Sharing his view, Ms Anh Tuyet said, making chung cake is not easy, even for Vietnamese people. That's why she was extremely astounded when seeing the beautiful product made by the Ambassador and gave him a lot of compliment.
Meanwhile, to Ambassador Kritenbrink, participating in making chung cake is a meaningful activity which brings him closer to the traditional culture of Vietnam./.
Ambassador Kritenbrink excitedly uses the bamboo string to cut the Chung cake. (photo: Phi Yen)
( Phi Yen )