The Taste of Vietnam

Describe an experience that you are proud of.

His skinny figure stoops and meticulously cleans and wipes each green Dong leaf, then puts it into an small pile. Afterwards, he takes out a basket of peas and grinds them till they are as fine as wheat flour. Each of his movement is quick but careful, gentle and skillful. He is like a competent artist performing his show…

When I was small, I usually spent my own Tet holiday in my homeland - Thai Binh province- at a small village typical of green paddy fields, flute kites, strolling buffalos, adventurous cricket-finding afternoons and never-ending mellifluent lullabies.

The Tet at hometown was simple, but it was interesting to a six year old girl like me. Delicious jam, decorative multi-colored lanterns or lucky money could not convince me to spend my Tet in the big city. Instead, I was passionately fond of the Chung cake-making process mastered by my grandpa. He and I made cakes the same way every year, but every year I learned more about life as we did so.

Wrapping was the most exciting part of cake-making to me. Grandpa said that Chung cake needed all the ingredients: green peas, pork, sticky rice, dong leaves, onions, peppercorn and some other spices, and that the lack of one of these ingredients would change the original...

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