When winter comes, people can feel the extremely cold weather and chilly wind. Huddling up in a corner of a stand, enjoying a few sips of hot tea and crunchy peanut candies is a simple pleasure of many people.
Dan Phuong village to the west of Hanoi centre is the main supplier of peanut candies for Hanoi market. In addition, households in the village also make other products such as popcorn, peppery maize, and doughnuts.
Making peanut candies is easy because the ingredients are available and it requires few labourers. However, it is really difficult to make delicious, crisp, sweet and appealing peanut candies. Peanuts have to be roasted and smashed into small pieces; and then peanut shells must be removed. Malt should be heated, mixed with peanuts, poured on the tray, rolled into thin layer of about 1.5 centimetres, cut into small bars, dried and finally packaged.
The hardest process is roasting peanuts and heating malt. If it is overheated, peanuts will be burnt and the candies will have dark colour and won’t be tasty. In wet season, if overheated, malt will turn into dull red. In dry season, if undercook, peanut candies often have light white. It is very easy to spoil the batch of candies if people do not pay much attention to the process. In a household, only skilful and experienced person will take charge of heating malt and roasting peanuts. Other people are responsible for rolling, cutting and packaging.