Hanoi Dan Phuong peanut candy village

Dan Phuong peanut candy village

Dan Phuong peanut candy village is located in the west of Hanoi, about half hour drive from Hanoi city center. Dan Phuong village is the main supplier of peanut candies for Hanoi market. In addition, households in the village also make other products such as popcorn, peppery maize, and doughnuts.

Dan Phuong peanut candy village

When winter comes, people can feel the extremely cold weather and chilly wind. Huddling up in a corner of a stand, enjoying a few sips of hot tea and crunchy peanut candies is a simple pleasure of many people.

Making peanut candies is easy because the ingredients are available and it requires few labourers. However, it is really difficult to make delicious, crisp, sweet and appealing peanut candies. Peanuts have to be roasted and smashed into small pieces; and then peanut shells must be removed. Malt should be heated, mixed with peanuts, poured on the tray, rolled into thin layer of about 1.5 centimetres, cut into small bars, dried and finally packaged.

The hardest process is roasting peanuts and heating malt. If it is overheated, peanuts will be burnt and the candies will have dark colour and won’t be tasty. In wet season, if overheated, malt will turn into dull red. In dry season, if undercook, peanut candies often have light white. It is very easy to spoil the batch of candies if people do not pay much attention to the process. In a household, only skilful and experienced person will take charge of heating malt and roasting peanuts. Other people are responsible for rolling, cutting and packaging.

Dan Phuong peanut candy village map

Trips to Dan Phuong

Yen Thai Paper Village Hanoi

The Yen Thai paper village, also called Buoi Village, was located to the north west of Hanoi, just beside the big west lake. Take a half day bike tour to visit Yen Thai village.

Yen Thai village map

Paper making has started here since the 15th century, which was mentioned in “Du Dia Chi” written in 1435 by Nguyen Trai. Yen Thai guild in Thang Long specialized in producing different kinds of paper, such as edict paper (to write royal edicts) and order paper (to write orders from the King). In the past, Yen Thai guild resounded with the sound of rhamnoneuron-pounding pestle. This sound mentioned in folk songs has brought a source of inspiration for a lot of artists and poets for many centuries.

However, in order to produce such kind of paper, a few people can understand the hardship of paper makers.

The traditional production of poonah paper in Yen Thai, as well as in some other places, soon became specialized because the paper production had to go through different steps using rather complex techniques, and requiring experienced and skillful workers at every stage. It is right to say that every step in the production is very hard, from striping the skin of poonah to washing, pounding and refining it, then packing the paper and taking it to the market. In the past the paper production was made mainly manual. It requires a lot of clean water to produce paper and fire to burn the kiln for boiling paper pulp.

Once upon a time, in Yen Thai Village, To Lich river bank was chosen as a place for manufacturing, pounding, refining and boiling poonah. Big pots for boiling poonah paper were placed o­n soil kilns along the river bank. There is a deep well with pure water which was very famous in Thang Long capital. The arrangement and organization of paper-making place is very suitable. The kiln is 5 meters high, o­n which is a big pot with the diameter of 2 meters. The skin of poonah is boiled in bain-marie. When it is well-done, it will be picked up, soaked in lime water and pounded by hand.

The process of soaking paper pulp in the refining tank of Yen Thai Village is similar to that of other villages, which creates vicous water made from the resin of “mo” tree. It is a kind of fermenter to dissolve the poonah paper, produce paper and deal with the stickiness.

The traditional production of poonah paper in Yen Thai Village is mainly tissue paper used for printing books and writing Han scripts or printing folk paintings. Moreover, rice paper or alum paper is o­nly used for packaging.

Trips to Yen Thai Village