U Tro cakes represent one of the most common specialty foods in the central province of Quang Nam and are usually served during the Doan Ngo Festival on the fifth day of the fifth Lunar month, which is the second most important festival in Vietnam, which falls on June 15 this year.
These days Nguyen Thi Xuan Mai's family in Nghia Hiep village of Ai Nghia town in Dai Loc district are busy preparing U Tro cakes for the Doan Ngo Festival.
Mai shares that due to the country’s competent control of the COVID-19 pandemic, the purchasing power of consumers is higher compared to last year.
She adds that this year her family has prepared over 800 kg of sticky rice and is expected to make up to 80,000 cakes ahead of the festival.
Ha Thi Bay, 70, has been making cakes for more than 30 years. She says that U tro, a pyramidal sticky rice cake wrapped in ‘dot’ leaves, is among the typical dishes which are popular during the festival.
U Tro is carefully made during every stage, from preparing the materials to the cooking period which lasts for three to five hours.
Ten U tro cakes cost between VND13,000 and VND40,000, equal to between US$0.55 and US$1.71.
U Tro cakes are mainly consumed in Ho Chi Minh City, Quang Nam, Hoi An, and the Central Highlands.
For U Tro cake-making households, producing the cakes is done not only as part of their income, but also to preserve and promote the beauty of the long-standing culinary culture of Quang Nam province.