Ô Mai are dried fruits mixed with sugar, salt, lime, chili, and ginger to obtain a harmonious taste of salty, sweet, sour, and spicy. This famous snack is favored by most Vietnamese people, especially the women. It is favorite daily treat for the locals, and is present in almost all Vietnamese homes during Tet (Vietnamese New Year) holiday.
The producers can create so many flavors with only one kind of fruit, such as apricot with ginger, apricot with spicy taste, apricot with licorice, apricot with sour, spicy, salty and sweet taste, apricot with salty and sweet taste; surely you will find something to satisfy your preference. The perfect combination of sour taste of apricot, saltiness of sour, spicy of ginger and sweetness of sugar will make you surprised.
Each processing facility has its own tip to create this unique combination. For the tasty and eye-catching Ô Mai, producers have to conduct many steps with care and delicacy. Choosing fresh fruits is the first and very important step; it will decide how delicious the finished products are. The locals have to check and classify for fruits of same size and high quality without bruising. Fruits are then cleaned and pricked in order to absorb sugar more easily. Sugar and salt are added with a hint of lime to maintain the fruit’s natural color and taste as much as possible, and now we have a mixture of fruits in sugar, salt, chili powder and ginger. It is then cooked, simmered and dried. Different types of fruits require different simmering method and time.
In Ha Noi, Ô Mai is abundantly sold along Hang Duong Street.