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Edible flowers given as gifts in Vietnam

Edible flowers given as gifts in Vietnam

Thursday, October 26, 2023, 21:15 GMT+7
Edible flowers given as gifts in Vietnam
Vendors display different prices of 'cake flowers' on a website. Photo: M.C. / Tuoi Tre

Instead of fresh flowers, cosmetics, or jewelry, alternative gifts for special occasions in Vietnam are emerging such as edible flowers and 'flowers' made of cash!

Bakeries are also getting in on the game with new ideas such as 'cheesecake flowers.'

A newcomer to 'edible flowers,' cheesecake flowers appeal to many customers because they taste delicious.

And while normal cakes made of sweets can be considered as presents for children or sweethearts, cheesecake flowers can be used by men as meaningful gifts for their mothers or wives on special holidays or occasions.

Unlike regular cakes that only have a few 'flowers' on the top, the tops of cheesecake flowers are covered with a crop of 'flowers.'

Moreover, the flower cakes are not packed in a box as usual, but like a real bouquet of flowers.

Although there are different types of cake flowers, the most popular are bouquets of tulips in different colors, which cost VND350,000-800,000 (US$14.25-32.58) depending on the size of each cake.

A bouquet of cheesecake flowers has become a new trend recently. Photo: M.C. / Tuoi Tre

A bouquet of cheesecake flowers has become a new trend recently. Photo: M.C. / Tuoi Tre

“If I choose a bouquet of fresh flowers at the same price, I can only enjoy it for a day or two," said Mai Anh, 25, from Binh Thanh District, Ho Chi Minh City.

"So I decided to give my mother a bouquet of cheesecake flowers, and I think it will make her happier.”

According to Ngoc My, owner of the online bakery Meicake, cheesecake flowers have been around for a long time, but wrapping them in a bouquet that looks like a real bunch of fresh flowers has only become a new trend this year.

On just one day, October 19, My’s shop sold more than 70 large bouquets of cake flowers, which is three times as many as on a normal day.

“It takes more technical skill to package cheesecake flowers so that shoppers can hold them like real flowers," My added.

"This way, customers can carry them on the go for a long time without worrying that the 'flowers' will break or crack in the process, and the natural and living characteristics of the 'blossoms' will be preserved."

Flowers made from cash in some Mekong Delta provinces.

Flowers made of cash in some provinces in Vietnam's Mekong Delta region

Flowers made of banknotes

Despite warnings that using banknotes to make 'flowers' can cause the bills to become worn or torn, many people still do so, especially in some provinces in Vietnam's Mekong Delta region.

On some special occasions, such as Vietnamese Women’s Day on October 20, many stores sold such 'blooms' on the 500-meter-long February 3 Street in Xuan Khanh Ward, Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho City.

Here, the bouquets were made of different kinds of cash.

Kiet, a vendor who sold 'cash flowers' near Can Tho University, said, “As for the flowers made of cash, I just wrap them lightly without using tape or staples because I am afraid that the cash will be damaged."

This vendor said he did not know that he could be punished if he damaged the notes, as per Vietnamese law.

In the southernmost province of Ca Mau, authorities are warning people not to use banknotes to make 'flowers' or decorations.

Despite the warnings, there are still dozens of vendors selling 'cash flowers' in the province.

The sellers use a stick and tape to arrange and fix the ingots in the intended shape.

Usually, the bouquets are displayed with low-value currency bills. If someone requests bouquets that consist of higher-denomination currencies, the sellers take them out.

“Each of these bouquets costs VND100,000-300,000 [$4.07-12.22] to make," said a vendor on Phan Ngoc Hien Street in Ca Mau.

"After I decorate them with various items, I can sell them at double the price.

"On special occasions, I can sell dozens of bouquets by the roadside, making a profit of several million dong.” (VND1 million = $40.6)

Flowers made from small teddy bears have become a new trend in recent years. Photo: Nhat Xuan / Tuoi Tre

Flowers made of small teddy bears have become a new trend in recent years in Vietnam. Photo: Nhat Xuan / Tuoi Tre

In another Mekong Delta province, Soc Trang, many street stalls also sell bouquets of banknotes.

Hoa, a florist there, said she has refused to make 'cash flowers' despite requests from many clients.

“I was told that this kind of goods is prohibited, so I do not take orders. Besides, I think it does not fit our Vietnamese culture,” Hoa said.

A director of a branch of a state-owned bank in Ninh Kieu District, Can Tho, said Article 3 of the Prime Minister's Decree No. 130 on the protection of Vietnam's currency states that all behaviors that damage cash are prohibited.

“When packing cash into flowers, if the cash is cut, torn out or otherwise damaged, the perpetrators will be punished,” the director said.

Various materials are turned into 'flowers'

In recent years, 'flowers' made of various materials such as wool or silk have become more and more popular among the youth.

Over the years, new models and types have been introduced.

Among the most famous types of flowers are those made of teddy bears, bouquets in the form of rabbit ears, and 'bossoms' made of wool.

These so-called 'flowers' are sold at VND50,000-400,000 ($2-16.29) depending on quality and material.

Each 'wool flower' fetches VND10,000-80,000 ($0.41-3.26), subject to its size and complexity.

This price is the same as that of a real flower, but 'wool flowers' are worth less than authentic blooms, so prices are generally cheaper.

Handmade flowers made of wool are preferred by the youth because of the variety of shapes seen in the photos provided.

'Flowers' made of wool are preferred by the youth because of their varied shapes, as seen in this provided photo.

Tran Trung, a resident of Go Vap District in Ho Chi Minh City, said he chose 'wool flowers' not only for their cheap rate but also for their special cuteness.

“Fresh flowers look elegant, but they are not as cute as 'woolen' or 'teddy bear flowers,'” Trung observed.

Another reason why young people prefer buying real flowers is that they can easily make a purchase on e-commerce platforms.

Instead of having to go to florists, Trung can search for gifts many days before any special event, which is both convenient and cheap, he said.  

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Kim Thoa / Tuoi Tre News

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