An Lac ward, Chi Linh city, has long been famous for its day cakes thanks to their stickiness and fragrance created from cai hoa vang sticky rice grains.
Day cakes have long been famous products of An Lac for their delicacy and stickiness
In the 10th century, King Le Dai Hanh came there to set up a headquarters to direct a battle on the Bach Dang river against the Song invaders in 981.
The soil there was fertile, suitable for the cultivation of cai hoa vang sticky rice, and the king ordered the rice to be soaked, steamed, and pounded to make day cakes for soldiers to eat their fill together with che kho (sweetened bean pudding) to fight the enemy.
After the Song enemy had been put to rout, the king gave a feast to his troops, rewarded generals to celebrate the victory, and especially offered day cakes and che kho to heaven and earth on the 14th day of that year’s November.
The fine folklore of holding a day cake making contest at the annual traditional festival of Cao – An Lac temple is still preserved, and day cakes have been used as typical gifts of the locality.
To make a day cake, sticky rice is washed and soaked for 8 – 10 hours (water is replaced every two hours).
After that, rice is removed from water, left to drain, steamed, and pounded thoroughly.
All stages are done continuously and manually.
Then, dough is kneaded into large and small cakes freely.
Day cakes are rounded, white, sticky, and fragrant thanks to careful soaking, steaming, smooth pounding, and beautiful decoration.
From existing materials in the locality, farmers have decided to intensively cultivate and multiply the ancient cai hoa vang sticky rice variety to meet delicious quality standard.
There are 130 ha in the locality with a yield of 675 tons/crop/year. The area of cai hoa vang sticky rice is concentrated, convenient for cultivation, prevention of pests and diseases, and timely harvest, ensuring rice quality and food safety.
In 2020, An Lac cai hoa vang sticky rice was recognized as a three-star OCOP product ("One Commune One Product" program). After harvest, rice is dried, packed, and preserved for use throughout the year.
With a desire to develop and upgrade typical agricultural products, in 2022, the Women’s Union of An Lac ward registered day cake for the OCOP program.
The ward Women’s Union has set up a group for association in production and trading of day cakes and che kho; registered and performed procedures to protect the logos, labels, and traceability of the products; organized training in knowledge of food hygiene and safety, processes and manipulations of product making, skills to introduce historical relics and famous landscapes of the locality, especially the propaganda of specific local products; etc.