On my sixteenth birthday my mother presented me with a packet of Com (young rice) from Vong village, the grain so sweetly scented that they left a lasting impression. Upon untying the two strands of grass that bound the outer lotus leaves, I smelled the fresh scent of lotus. Inside was a second layer of leaves, these from a sweet potato plant. Pulling back these leave revealed a pile of delicate green gains, my mother watching as I took my first bite.
Many times as a small child I had wished for the money to buy some Com. Served with red persimmons or ripe bananas, Com is truly delicious. Vong village, on the outskirts of Hanoi, is said to produce the best Com in northern Vietnam.
To produce their famous Com, residents of Vong village grow a special variety of sticky rice. Wealthy families buy it for their lucky kids, and grooms’ families present it to brides’ families as engagement and wedding gifts. Poor children, as I then was, rarely had the chance to taste such an elegant treat. Vong Village is an unforgettable destination for visitors in Hanoi with Vietnam Travel.
Years ago I accompanied a friend to Vong village, where her grandmother told me about the strenuous work required to produce Com. The sticky rice must be harvested at just the right moment and the grains must be roasted shortly after being picked. The rice is roasted over a moderate heat and gently stirred, a process that is repeated seven times.
Aware that Hanoi is entering another autumn, I feel nostalgic, Today, packets of young rice are no longer sold in the city’s small lanes. I wonder if any vendors continue to wrap this special treat in lotus leaves.
Green rice is still available, however, as it is used in different local specialties. Green rice cakes are sold o Hang Than Street. Sticky cakes stuffed with green rice are sold on Hang Dieu Street and Quoc Huong green rice paste is sold on Hang Bong Street. Restaurants also offer dishes involving Com, such as chicken stewed with herbs and green rice, or green rice served with fried shrimp. The best Vietnam Travel Deals can be accquired for the best prices.
While these dishes are sophisticated, I long for a simple packet of Com like that presented to me on my sixteenth birthday. On that day, my mother presented that I would live far from Hanoi, which proved correct. In giving me a packet of lea-wrapped Com she gave ma a packet of sweet memories about my hometown, Hanoi.