There is one bakery shop next to a snail’s shop at Hang Bac – Dinh Liet intersection. It is such a small shop but many kinds delicious traditional cake are sought here.
“Banh gio” is one specialty that I could not find equivalent English word. This cake is in shape of pyramid, made from rice and filled with meat, mushroom and onion. It is more interesting to enjoy it with chilly and a small piece of lean pork paste. “Banh nep” – glutinous rice cake spreads out the sweet smelling of green bean. “Banh gio” which is made from glutinous rice flour dipped in lye and molasses is a perfect combination.
However, mentioning to traditional cakes of Hanoi, green rice flake cake and “banh xu xe” (so-called “banh phu the”) cannot be ignored.
“Banh xu xe” or “banh phu the” is made from tapioca flour, sugar, sesame seeds and some ingredients. In Vietnamese customs, this cake is usually used in betrothal ceremony probably because “phu the” means husband and wife. “Banh phu the” is different from other cakes for its transparent skin, since gastronomes can see the stuffing of green bean and thin coconut threads.
Green rice flake cake is one specialty that almost visitors coming to Hanoi buy it as present for their friends and families. The skin of strong green of Green rice flake cake is originated from high-quality green rice flake without artificial colour. Nowadays, “banh com” is widely sought in Hang Than street as well.
Foreigners are interested in traditional cake of Hanoi very much. Many even enjoy it right at the pavement and nod their heads repeatedly as the sign of satisfaction.