Tet or Lunar New Year is the most important holiday of Vietnamese. Beside decorating house, buying new clothes,… people also prepare many traditional foods for Tet. One of the popular Tet food have to mention is “Mứt”. There are various kinds of Mứt such as Mứt Dừa (Candied Coconut Ribbons), Mứt Quất (kumquat jam), Mứt Me (Candied Tamarind) and so on.
One of the most popular candied fruits for a ‘mứt Tết’ tray is candied coconut, which is favored by almost everybody from the North to the South of Vietnam. Covered by a layer of sugar coating, candied coconut ribbons come in many colors, and their divine taste is similar to that of sweet, dried coconut. Your kids will definitely fall in love with these creamy and crunchy ribbons. In the cozy family atmosphere of New Year Day, people often enjoy sipping on their tea and munching on some sweet candied coconut, while chatting the day away.
Among the wide variety of Tet sweet treats, kumquat jam is one of the best, since it’s absolutely tasty, and also works well for digestive problems- not to mention it is often used for treating a bad cough. Kumquat jam tastes fairly close to the fruit, but it’s a tad sweeter, with a tart-citrusy flavor. It has this great aromatic kumquat fragrance, which makes you want to eat a ton! The lovely fruits are usually cut into a five-petal-flower shape, and covered with a layer of sparkling and gooey kumquat syrup, which makes the jam even more shiny and eye-catching. Kumquat jam is usually served as a snack, or as an after-meal dessert during Tet holiday, as its vibrant golden color is believed to bring good luck and prosperity for the new year.
Unlike other candied fruits in a ‘Mứt Tết’ tray, candied tamarind is quite unique, and its taste is very similar to that of the fruit it was made with. It’s more chewy and slightly sour than sweet, and it typically smells like a real tamarind. You’ll find it wrapped in glass paper, shaped just like the original fruit, but it can sometimes be mixed with some white sesame, in which case the sweet is usually rectangular in shape. Through the paper, you can see the attractive amber brown color, which rarely fails to attract the people’s attention and lure them into enjoying it. But be careful, as candied tamarind can be very sticky!