“Spathe rice with salted peanut” was originally a very simple dish of Vietnam farmers. It was permanently present at the meals of farmers, hired harvesters or at the school bags of old generations of students.
Areca tree – a country inspiration, has supplied immaculate white spathes. These spathes have two layers of sheaths. The outer sheath is light blue, turning into dark green afterwards; the inner sheath is supple and has ivory-white color. These unique structures along with the gentle fragrance make it perfect to wrap rice up. Areca spathes are smooth but hard to be torn, covering neatly a ball of cooked rice. When wrapping them up, areca spathes fragrance mixed the smell of rice, creating a stunning flavor.
Salted peanut is a common food; it makes austere meals become tastier. My mother used to wake up in early morning, kindling a fire to roast peanuts. With her hands rhythmically turning over and over, the peanuts crackle, making up a sweet smell. Not to mention that, when the peanuts get ripen, my mother smashes them; the smell spreads out to all corners of the house.
A ball of white cooked rice lying in the spathes, rice steam sparkly remains in each of them. Taking a small pinch of rice, dipping in the salted peanut, gradually chewing and experiencing the sweet country flavor with the buttery taste of salted peanut, altogether makes a significant taste on my tongue. Like this, spathe rice gets in full; salted peanut gets dried; farmers planting rice, students passing examinations.
Nowadays, life more or less has been changed; the old kids have left the small towns, moving to big cities. To those who live far from home, spathe rice with salted peanut – the plain simple dish reminds them of the country flavor, the memories of father’s and mother’s love. It is also the flavor of the homeland which is deeply remained in every Vietnamese’s heart.