Young sticky rice (Cốm) is specialty of Vong village, Hanoi and often enjoyed when autumn comes.
There is legend about how Young sticky rice (Cốm) was born in Vong village. In an autumn of thousands of years ago, local people there suffered a huge storm which destroyed all paddy fields where rice was about to be in flowering period. The locals had to collect and roast remaining young rice to eat. The dish as the last resort turned out to have distinctively delicious taste and later become a delicacy of the village.
The dish is said to be a signal of Hanoi’s autumn with its plain but elegant taste, especially when it is enjoyed with ripe aromatic banana or persimmon. So, this is also an indispensable dish in the autumn.
But it should be the process of making Young sticky rice (Cốm) that illustrates its grace better. First rice collected from field is threshed and sieved. Then well rounded rice seeds are selected and roasted. It is necessary to stir steadily to keep the heat stable. After that roasted seeds are crushed about ten times and finished Young sticky rice (Cốm) is wrapped in lotus leaves to absorb their subtle scent.
Apart from traditional Young sticky rice (Cốm), people nowadays make young sticky rice cake, sweetened young sticky rice paste. Young sticky rice cake, together with yellow-colored wedding pastry, is symbol of steadfast and eternal love and becomes an indispensable item in engagement ceremony in Vietnam.
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