Black Cake is a unique dish of Thai Muong Lo in Lang Son province. Normally, banh chung (Banh chung) is made only during Tet (Tet), but if you are lucky enough, you will still find this dish in highland markets. The special things of the black banh chung is its shape and color.
Thai people wrap chung cake in cylinder-shaped ones. Glutinous rice is soaked with the black tea solution to have the desired hue. The ingredients are carefully selected including wild leaves, wild boar or heo cap nach (armpit pigs). When eaten, the thick stick will be cut into small pieces to serve. It is the one and only black chung cake in Lang Son.
The black outer and yellow filler of black banh chung is a distinctive icon of Lang Son. This is the indispensable specialty on the occasion of traditional Tet in highland. The cake is made of traditional fragrant and flexible glutinous rice grains of northwestern hig-altitude zones. Cakes’ color stems from the ashes of cay nuc nac’s (Orocylum indicum) bark. The bark is dried, burned to ash and finely ground.
The carefully soaked sticky rice is mixed with ash powder so that the colour is omnipresent. Cake’s filler is made of mung beans, pork, cardamom, and forest pepper. Mung beans are carefully got rid of shells then boiled till semi-well done. Two slices of 3 centimeter-length delicious pork are marinated with small grilled red pepper and pepper powder. Then they are wrapped with forest phrinium leaves.
To get the most of this gorgeous eat, people prefer grilled cake. Banh chung is put on the hot red charcoal till the wrapping leaves are all burnt off and the aroma permeates across the rooms, or most of the time, the streets. At this point, people swiftly pick up chung cake and enjoy the hot fragrant chow. Especially black banh chung doesn’t cause heartburn like the normal version for the ash wards off the acidity of the “heavy” rice. Have a bite in the middle of the wild forest to get the whale of time for yourself .
According to scientists, black chung cake is a nutritious food, which has the effect of cooling down your heat and circulatory benefits. It is suitable for all ages, especially children, and women. This viand is available in many places such as Van Chan, Nghia Lo – Yen Bai, Lang Son, Cao Bang, etc. Each place is slightly different in terms of ingredients so the taste is not the same.
Eaters highly recommend Van Chan Nghia Lo – Yen Bai most for its highlighted condiment – sesame salt which forms an otherworld couple speaking of sticky rice – based dishes.
It takes less than 4 hours to travel by car from Sapa to Lang Son thus it is not a bad choice to make your visit to Lang Son and check out this specialty in Vietnam’s northwestern area’s journey.