Pia Cakes in Soc Trang

In the 17th century, Pia cakes were introduced to Soc Trang by the Chinese people who immigrated to the South of Vietnam. Over the years, the cakes have been made from the plentiful material resources to the taste of Vietnamese people and have become a specialty of Soc Trang Province.

About Pia Cake

Previously, the cakes were totally made by hand. However, in the early 19th century Dang Thuan, a native from Vung Thom Village (present-day Phu Tam) Chau Thanh District, Soc Trang Province, was the first man to make and trade the cakes and he handed down the craft to his descendants.

Pia cake via Brasol

Pia cakes have a special taste with an aroma of durian fruit, the greasy and buttery flavour of salted duck eggs and steamed green beans and Indian taros. To make delicious Pia cakes, it requires many complicated steps. In terms of the cakes’ stuffing, it is necessary to stir-fry the paste of Indian taros, ground steamed green beans, salted duck eggs with salt and the flesh of durian according to a suitable ratio and then cover with salted duck’s yolk. To make the cakes more greasy, the maker can add pork to the stuffing. The crust of the cakes is made from wheat flour. The cakes are baked at a temperature of 270oC for 5-7 minutes. Take the cakes out from the oven, upturn and apply a layer of duck egg’s yolk and then bake the cakes again for 15 minutes until they become yellowish brown. The cakes are round and soft with a special flavour, leaving a long-lasting taste.

50 Pia cake making establishments in Soc Trang

At present, Soc Trang has 50 Pia cake making establishments. Many companies have invested in modern technology and production lines worth billions of dong to make Pia cakes that helps preserve the cakes for a longer time (the expiry date is one month from the date of production). Furthermore, the cakes are packed carefully, meeting the standards of food hygiene and safety.

Pia cake via Fruitie cake

Thanks to sound policies on improving the quality of products and promoting the trademark of Pia cakes in Soc Trang, many enterprises, such as Tan Hue Vien Company was granted a certificate of meeting the standards of food safety and hygiene and management in 2009, export Pia cakes to foreign markets. Tan Hue Vien Company has now an agent in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and plans to open one in Germany. Recently, the company exported 40 tonnes of cakes to the US and is expected to expand the market to the EU after investing over 20 billion VND to upgrade the system of facilities and production technology.

People in Soc Trang often present Pia cakes to each other on the occasions of the moon worshipping ceremony (on  October 15 according to the lunar calendar) or festivals to express their sentiments. It has now become a specialty, making a contribution to developing the economy, culture and tourism of the province.

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