The article was published on Word Vietnam Magazine Issue March 2014. Words by me. Photos by Francis Roux.
While walking along Hang Dao on our way to exploring the city, my Scottish friend — who had been in Hanoi for only a few weeks — was overcome with curiosity when she saw a few peddlers selling small rice balls in their baskets.
“Hey, I just saw some ladies with baskets full of small ball-shaped cake in different colours,” she said. “Some are orange, some are white like snowballs, and some others are brown. Are they all the same?”
In response, I bought her a few to taste. “They’re deep-fried glutinous rice balls, or fried cake in short,” I explained. “They’re called banh ran in the North and banh cam in the South.