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Palm-sugar, a specialty of An Giang

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Known nationwide for its delicate sweetness and classy flavor, An Giang province’s palm sugar is regarded as the quintessence of this southwestern land.

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Going to Tri Ton and Tinh Bien districts in An Giang, one can see tall sugar palm trees shading rice fields. The time for harvesting and producing palm sugar lasts around six months, from November to May of the lunar year. A local man is climbing up a palm tree to get its sap, the material used for making palm sugar.

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The hardest job of the production process is climbing up tall trees to splint the spikes to extract the sap which will drop into plastic containers. The acquired fresh sap must be processed immediately to turn out the best quality sugar. 

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Spikes which produce the sap. 

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Sugar palm fruit is used as a fresh drink in summer while the old tree-trunks are materials to make fine arts.

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First, the sap was cooked in a large pot for about 4 hours during which it must be constantly stirred with big bamboo chopsticks. When the sap turned into a form of syrup, it was stirred again until it cooled down and became solid. 

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Stirring the liquid sugar by machine. 

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Checking the smoothness and thickness of sugar. 

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The liquid sugar must be filtered to ensure its smoothness.

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To get one kilo of sugar one needs seven litres of sap. 

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Finished products. 

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Finished products. Every year, An Giang produces some 6,000 tonnes of palm sugar, including around  2,000 tonnes from Tinh Bien district alone. An Giang palm sugar is also exported to Taiwan, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the US. 

 

Source: VNA 

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