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Visiting the cassava vermicelli village in Hanoi

Wednesday, 01/25/2017 23:01
Have you ever wondered how your sizzling bowl of cassava vermicelli is made?

Women spread cassava starch into sheets, a skill which takes great dexterity and brisk movements. Photo: Lai Dien Dam

Apart from its century-old houses, Cu Da Village, a secluded area in Cu Khe Commune in Hanoi’s Thanh Oai District, 15 kilometers southwest of the downtown area, is also known for its cassava vermicelli production.

Cassava vermicelli is a staple of many Vietnamese diets, used in a variety of Vietnamese dishes and often served for breakfast alongside duck meat and asparagus.

Beginning in October, when demand for the traditional Vietnamese noodle surges, the village teems with commotion as people and trucks hurry back and forth to produce and transport the vermicelli.

The time-honored craft remains almost unchanged by time.

The main ingredient, cassava starch, is boiled and rolled into thin slices before being dried outdoors.

The pervasive, rusty smell emitted from the cassava starch immediately separates vermicelli making households from others in the village and bamboo wattles of vermicelli are a common sight throughout the neighborhood.

By the end of the day, the wattles are taken home and sheets of vermicelli are cut into fine strings before the drying process continues the following day.  

With a manual approach to producing the noodle having prevailed over the decades, vermicelli products are packed in proper proportions and transported around the country for consumption.

Below are a series of photos by Lai Dien Dam featuring the craft village.

These photos were one of the entries to Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper's year-long competition themed “Vietnam – Country – People" concluding in October last year.

Cassava vermicelli is made from cassava starch.

Cassava vermicelli is dried everywhere in Cu Da Village.

Cassava vermicelli is dried on bamboo wattles.

Most households in Cu Da Village have a kitchen used for spreading cassava starch into sheets.

Wattles are placed on an empty plot near the Nhue River.

Traders purchase finished vermicelli in bulk in the village.

By Tuoitrenews

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