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Vietnamese family surpass 70 years making Hanoi’s signature autumn food

Sunday, November 03, 2019, 11:13 GMT+7
Vietnamese family surpass 70 years making Hanoi’s signature autumn food
Nguyen Thi Can carefully places freshly-made green sticky rice onto a large lotus leaf for wrapping at her house in Hanoi. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

An elderly Vietnamese woman living in Hanoi, along with her children and grandchildren, has remained one of the green sticky rice manufacturers left in the region for over seven decades.

Hanoi’s signature green sticky rice snack first rose to popularity a thousand years ago when farmers began picking and roasting young sticky rice after severe storms. 

Today, it remains a top choice for locals and tourists alike to munch on as autumn descends on the capital city.

Nguyen Thi Can, an 86-year-old woman Hanoian, first learned how to make the traditional green sticky rice at the age of 14. 

Over seven decades later, she continues her work selling some of the best sticky rice in 'Lang Vong' (Vong Village), a neighborhood in the city famous for the autumn specialty.

According to Can, 'Lang Vong' residents have made a living off green sticky rice production for centuries, but many families are now giving up the tradition due to overcrowding in the neighborhood which makes producing the rice difficult.

Can also shared that the secret to making high quality green sticky rice is the roasting process, a procedure which she says must be done by hand.

“We follow our ancestors’ methods in order to maintain our reputation,” she said.

Most of Can’s sticky rice operation has been taken over by her son, Dinh Van Chien, but even in her old age she still insists on helping with the wrapping work in order to stay connected with the job she has spent her life perfecting.

Chien said that he and his mother both put their hearts and souls into the work, from collecting the highest quality rice to manually laboring over each part of the production process, in order to keep the flavors and colors completely natural. 

Such dedication to the craft has made their stall a popular autumn attraction for visitors from all over the country.  

“Our products are not only made from the best quality ingredients, but also from our love and care,” he beamed with pride.

Green sticky rice from 'Lang Vong' was certified as a national brand among Hanoi’s specialties in 2017 by the Ministry of Science and Technology.

Nguyen Thi Can helps her children and grandchildren with the packaging process at her house in Hanoi. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Thi Can helps her children and grandchildren with the packaging process at her house in Hanoi. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Thi Can wraps green sticky rice inside the lotus leaf at her house in Hanoi. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Nguyen Thi Can wraps green sticky rice inside the lotus leaf at her house in Hanoi. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

High quality young sticky rice is chosen to make one of Hanoi’s most popular autumn snacks. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

High quality young sticky rice is chosen to make one of Hanoi’s most popular autumn snacks. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Green sticky rice is roasted in the manual oven at Nguyen Thi Can’s house in Hanoi. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Green sticky rice is roasted in the manual oven at Nguyen Thi Can’s house in Hanoi. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Dinh Van Chien sifts through freshly-picked green sticky rice to remove low quality grains at his house in Hanoi. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Dinh Van Chien sifts through freshly-picked green sticky rice to remove low quality grains at his house in Hanoi. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Green sticky rice is manually pounded at Nguyen Thi Can’s house in Hanoi. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Green sticky rice is manually pounded at Nguyen Thi Can’s house in Hanoi. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Dinh Van Chien fires the oven to roast green sticky rice at his house in Hanoi. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Dinh Van Chien fires the oven to roast green sticky rice at his house in Hanoi. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Green sticky rice is placed onto a plate along with Hanoi’s signature green sticky rice cakes and Vietnamese peaches. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

Green sticky rice is placed onto a plate along with Hanoi’s signature green sticky rice cakes and Vietnamese peaches. Photo: Ha Thanh / Tuoi Tre

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