In many rural regions in the country, “banh it la gai”, a kind of cake, has existed in life of the Quang people for a long time. It has become meaningful offering in the traditional lunar new year ’s festival, ancestors’ anniversary, funeral, wedding ceremony….
The process to make “banh it la gai” isn’t very complicated, but every stage must be done carefully, especially when choosing ingredients: sticky rice, green bean, sugar, thorn leaf (pinnate leaf), banana leaf. The filling is made from green bean. All is wrapped with banana leaf, having a conical shape.
It’s always on the careful watch when cooking so that the coat has a black green color. Either way the banana leaves are usually put quickly on the fire or dipped in hot water to make them soft so that it is easier to wrap the cake with them. The little packages usually are shaped like pyramids with square bottoms. Then people arrange the packets into a pot for steaming.
Banh it la gai in Quang Nam bears a shape of simplicity as the other farm products, but it has its own flavor of a region imbued with hospitality. Visiting Hoi An, tourists can discover how “Banh it” often stands right in the centre of locals’ lives. In death anniversaries, it is acceptable for there to be no fish or meat, but there must be “Banh it la gai”. In marriage rituals, a tray of “Banh it la gai” is the gift of the bride’s family to that of the groom to show the skillfulness of the bride who has made the Banh it together with other villagers.
“Banh it la gai” is selling a lot in Hoi An, on the streets, markets and in restaurants, these cakes not just only have in Hoi An, but the difference of The Hoi An is the way they make it and the water of Ba Le well in this town make the cake become one of the Hoi An specialist.