|Women in a Cuu Long Delta family pack tet cakes. Producers of speciality foods in the delta are increasing output to meet the burgeoning demand during the Lunar New Year. — VNA/VNS Photo Duy Khuong
HCM CITY (VNS) — Producers of speciality foods in the Cuu Long (Mekong) Delta are increasing output to meet the burgeoning demand for Tet (Lunar New Year), which falls on February 8 this year.
Nguyen Truong Chinh, chairman of the Tra Vinh Speciality Products Association, said the province is famous for many highly popular Tet specialities like Tra Cuon tet cake (cylinder-shaped glutinous rice cake filled with green bean paste and pork), Vinh Kim dried shrimp, and salted turnip. So producers are busy, he said.
Nguyen Thi Diem Phuc who makes Tra Cuon tet cake in Cau Ngang District's Kim Hoa Commune said many customers have ordered for Tet.
She now makes more than 8,000 cakes a day, 20 times the normal output. The cakes are sold at VND40,000–70,000 (US$1.8 –3.1) each.
Most families in the south, especially in the delta, eat tet cakes during Tet.
Rice paper is also highly in demand during Tet since it is used to make fried as well as fresh spring rolls.
Many traders in the delta have ordered for rice paper from Cu Lao May village in Vinh Long Province's Tra On District.
Nguyen Thi Le Hang, owner of Le Hang rice paper in Cu Lao May, said: "Tet is the time when people in the village get many orders."
Daily her family produces 800-900 pieces of rice paper for making spring rolls and 600 coconut milk crackers a day, double the normal production, she said. "We make rice paper manually."
The village has more than 70 households who have been making rice paper and coconut milk crackers for nearly a century now.
In Soc Trang Province, producers of banh pia (a kind of moon cake) and Chinese-style dried pork sausages are scrambling to meet Tet orders.
Quang Tan Enterprise in Chau Thanh District's An Hiep Commune, which has been making the two products for 65 years, said besides selling domestically, it also exports to other countries.
This year it has also made new kinds of sausages from Chinese-style fresh pork and dried shrimp. Delta villages that produce speciality foods now also work at night to meet the massive Tet orders.
In Dong Thap Province's Lai Vung District, many households are increasing their production of Lai Vung fermented pork rolls to meet orders.
La Ngoc Thang, owner of a production establishment called Nem Ut Tham in the district's Long Hau Commune, said, "My village is entering the peak period of making fermented pork rolls for Tet. Sales of Lai Vung fermented pork rolls now are three or four times that of normal days."
Duong Minh The, head of the Lai Vung District Infrastructure Economy Bureau, said, "We require food producers to ensure food safety and quality and not increase prices."
The fermented pork rolls cost VND25,000 ($1.1) for 10. — VNS