Located close to the peaceful Cầu River, Thổ Hà Village in the northern province of Bắc Giang has developed a name for itself thanks to its original ancient architecture and specialty products – rice paper and crackers.
The rice paper made in the village has been so renowned and favoured that it has appeared in meals from the north to the south, and even abroad.
Arriving at the village, visitors might be overwhelmed on seeing rice papers dried in every corners.
Since the early morning, villagers bring out thousands of rice-covered panels ( phên ) and stack them along the village streets and alleys. The rice paper are evenly dried on the grounds of the communal houses, pagodas, on the roofs and trees.
The whole village is covered with the aromatic scent of flour while local ladies are seen toasting crackers over fire in the streets.
According to the locals, the rice paper must be dried in the thin mist in the air so that it could obtain a high quality and delicious taste.
The village has than 600 households involved in making rice paper. The special features of Thổ Hà rice paper are its thickness and flexibility. When soaked in water, it remains tough while not being broken like some other types. Furthermore, the producers do not use additives to ensure food safety and hygiene.
As an indispensable ingredient of Vietnamese famed spring rolls, Thổ Hà rice paper have been introduced to markets nationwide and even exported to Taiwan, Korea, Japan and European countries.
On the occasion of Tết (Lunar New Year), the production of rice cake in the village is even insufficient to meet the demands. The best-selling period of the specialty starts from September till the end of February of the following year.
On average, one household produces about 250-300kg of rice cakes per day and earn an average income of about from VNĐ7 million to VNĐ10 million per person per month, which is the main source of income for Thổ Hà villagers. — VNS
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