Ginger jam makes Tet warm
The ginger ‘jam’ made in Kim Long Ward, Hue City, in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue, stands out for its authenticity and absence of additives.
The ginger 'jam' (Photo: VOV)
The specialty is muchly consumed during Lunar New Year (Tet) festival.
Kim Long ward is the onlyplace in the ancient capital city that retains the profession of making ginger"jam" in the last days of the lunar calendar.
The famous Kim Long Ginger Jam in Hue has a distinct spicy flavor. The gingercan neither be too old because the final product will not have a smoothtexture, nor can it be too young, because it will not have the needed pungency.
First, the ginger is peeled and sliced. Thin ginger slices are soaked in coldwater with squeezed lemon juice for about 30 minutes to clean them, and then mixedwith sugar.
The ginger is then cooked in sugar syrup on wood fires for about an hour tillthe slices become firmer and the sugar is neatly wrapped around each slice.
To make this happen, the mixture has to be continuously stirred withchopsticks, so that it does not get burnt.
The ginger jam then proceeds to a traywhere it is cooled. Here, the jam-maker uses thin bamboo sticks to separate theginger slices as they can easily stick together when hot.
What makes the Kim Long ginger jam special isthat every step is done by hand, and it has no other ingredient except ginger andsugar – no additive is used. Regular buyers love the Kim Long ginger jam forits pure spicy-sweet flavor.
Currently, the Kim Long Ward has about 20 households making the gingerjam in the most traditional way.
Besides serving locals during the Tet holiday,Kim Long ginger jam is also ordered year-round by dealers from cities acrosscentral Vietnam and Ho Chi Minh City.
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