Num banhchok (Cambodian rice noodles) have lengthy made Preah Dak commune of Banteay Srei district well-known as a meals vacationer vacation spot and now steamed palm cake is gaining reputation as a neighborhood specialty.
Soth Thou, 40, a palm leaf weaver with 20 years of expertise, modified her occupation to creating the steamed palm cake throughout the lockdown as a result of Covid-19 pandemic.
At current, Thou sells between 50 and 60 kilograms of steamed palm cake per day on weekends and holidays.
“The vital factor is that we pay shut consideration to hygiene and we clear the entire supplies. We additionally use good palm sugar merchandise, together with solely ripe palm fruits from Banteay Srei district, and this has made my steamed palm desserts very broadly standard,” she instructed The Submit.
Earlier than the lockdown, when there was an abundance of home and worldwide vacationers within the district to see Banteay Srei temple and Phnom Bok, she made containers from woven palm leaves referred to as smok package deal and she or he knew a number of Chinese language vacationer guides who helped her promote them as a result of Chinese language guests typically purchased them as souvenirs.
She started making little steamed palm desserts as a facet enterprise, not anticipating to get a lot assist.
Quickly thereafter a Fb video producer made a promotional video in regards to the steamed palm desserts and Khim Finan, the previous governor of Banteay Srei district, additionally supplied assist and helped promote them.
Thou’s steamed palm desserts quickly bought out and attracted many new prospects within the province in addition to Phnom Penh residents and folks from different provinces.
Finan who’s presently the deputy governor of Siem Reap posted some photos of the desserts with captions describing the potential of meals tourism in Preah Dak commune and mentioning that the steamed palm desserts have been the pleasure of the village.
“For those who cross by the village of Preah Dak, don’t forget to attempt the desserts and assist our neighborhood. I can assure you that they’re scrumptious, the desserts are delicate they usually odor like actual palm fruit. However if you wish to eat scorching desserts, you’ll have to attend in line for a very long time as a result of on daily basis there are numerous consumers they usually nearly can’t sustain with the variety of prospects. They promote the desserts as a household,” he wrote.
Thou began out producing 5kg of flour per day earlier than growing to 30-40kg per day on weekdays and 50-60kg on weekends and different holidays.
With the assistance of greater than 10 workers, Thou makes use of her personal recipe that’s primarily based on the recipe she bought from her mom who used to squeeze palm fruits and blend them with flour dough and depart it for some time earlier than mixing it with coconut milk and palm sugar after which reducing out particular person desserts and steaming them.
“I combine the dough with palm sugar, depart it for lengthy sufficient, then combine it with palm fruit and coconut milk and depart that for half an hour to an hour after which we will begin steaming. With this recipe, it’s so quicker than previously after we needed to depart it for hours,” she stated.
A change for the higher
“It is a method I made myself. Earlier than I may make the brand new recipe for myself, I needed to check it out and I spoiled my desserts many instances. Typically, there have been numerous failures earlier than I reached success,” she stated.
The rationale why she needed to make the brand new recipe of blending the palm fruit with flour was as a result of she needed a quicker technique to steam the desserts that didn’t require leaving the combination alone for 2 to 3 hours. The trick is to make use of a small quantity of right now’s cake flour to combine into tomorrow’s to hurry up the yeast fermentation course of.
Preah Dak commune chief Phin Thong acknowledges that along with the temples in Banteay Srei district, the steam palm desserts at Preah Dak village are additionally an vital vacationer attraction now.
Thong tells The Submit: “At Preah Dak, we’ve got palm sugar producers, weavers, num banhchok stalls and a temple close by. And now there’s additionally a extremely popular steamed palm cake.”
As a smok maker, the proprietor of the steamed palm cake stall at Preah Dak makes use of diverse designs of smok as packaging supplies for the desserts to assist the atmosphere and create extra enticing packaging normally.
A foam field of steamed palm desserts with 10 desserts inside prices 10,000 riel however there are solely 9 desserts within the smok field, which is extra standard amongst prospects.
“Usually, friends order to pack the desserts in smok which appears clear they usually may also hold the smok for different functions after ending the cake. I like to recommend the friends to pack within the smok as a result of it doesn’t hurt the atmosphere and it could retailer desserts for as much as two or three days with out spoiling. A lot of the foam containers are utilized by purchasers on this district solely,” she stated.
Run Ramana, 38, a resident of Mondol Bei village in Siem Reap city, is certainly one of Thou’s purchasers who often comes to purchase the steamed palm desserts not less than as soon as per week.
“I often purchase just one field for my household however generally when there are lots of people, I’ll purchase 4 or 5 containers. Right this moment, I purchased one field of desserts for 3 individuals,” she instructed The Submit.
She added that along with the palm desserts, she goes to the village to purchase brown rice and there are additionally brown ice cream desserts and she or he particularly likes the Preah Dak noodles, as a result of the noodles there are well-known for being scrumptious.
Former Banteay Srei district governor Finan posted on his Fb web page final October that “the steamed palm cake is turning into the brand new identification of Banteay Srei district and has flourished in Preah Dak village and has created further jobs and earnings to assist the livelihood of the neighborhood.”
“I’m comfortable that the villagers know the way to use the regionally sourced palm fruits and know to take care of each clear and environmentally pleasant rural packaging,” he wrote, including a telephone quantity and a map hyperlink to the stall.
Now in Preah Dak village there are not less than six stalls promoting steamed palm desserts, together with Thou’s stall and one owned by her youthful sister.
Though there are lots of stalls promoting the steamed palm cake, she stated that she will not be apprehensive in regards to the competitors as prospects will nonetheless select to purchase hers, however she did admit it has lowered her general gross sales some.
She stated that steaming the palm desserts takes a couple of half an hour in a single pan with one layer that may maintain between 60 and 80 desserts or a pan with three layers that may maintain greater than 200 desserts.
She talked about among the challenges, like when a complete day’s batch of flour didn’t work effectively with the yeast, so the desserts tasted advantageous however didn’t look proper. As a substitute of throwing it out she continued to steam the flour into desserts to provide to kids and the provincial hospitals and pagodas at no cost.
“When the flour didn’t work with yeast, we steamed the desserts and gave them to the hospital sufferers at no cost. When prospects purchased the desserts and gave them to pagodas, I additionally gave them just a few additional containers at no cost,” stated Thou.