Celebrating holidays makes for special childhood memories. In April, the children in our three community-based Children’s Homes made TROI cakes as part of the “Cold Food Festival”, one of the traditional holidays celebrated not only in Vietnam but also in many other Asian countries as well. This is the second Cold Food Festival they celebrated during the pandemic. Marking these traditions helps keep a light atmosphere in the Homes and gives the children a sense of normalcy in this often changing pandemic situation.

TROI cakes consist of glutinous rice flour dough with 1 cm molasses sugar cubes inside. After being molded into round balls, the TROI cakes are dropped into boiling water for 5-7 minutes. The cakes are taken out when they float and then dropped into cold water, which prevents the cakes from breaking. After cooking and cooling, the children put the cakes on plates and sprinkle them with toasted sesame seeds before serving.

THANG (photo below, 9 years-old) who entered the Tan Vien Children’s Home at the end of 2020, made and ate TROI cakes for the first time in his life this year. Elder brothers and sisters meticulously guided him to make the most beautiful cakes and told him the history of the cakes.

Over the years, with the guidance of the Home staff, all the children have become familiar with the steps for making TROI cakes as well as other traditional Vietnamese foods. Making these foods together and celebrating these festivals, helps the children connect with their history and culture. It’s also an enjoyable activity to do together.

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