Cà Mau’s traditional sauce recognised as national cultural heritage

The traditional craft of making ba khía (three-striped crab) sauce in the southern province of Cà Mau has been officially recognised as the National Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Cà Mau Province’s Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism held a ceremony on Tuesday in Ngọc Hiển District to announce the title.

Ba khía is a species of crab, concentrated extensively in the mangrove forests in Cà Mau Province. Its breeding season falls in the tenth month of the lunar calendar. The mass catching of the crabs stimulated the locals to come up with a way to preserve them with salt to make sauce.

The craft of making three-striped crab sauce is practiced mainly in Năm Căn, Đầm Dơi or Phú Tân Districts, but the most famous brand comes from Rạch Gốc town in Ngọc Hiển District.

It has been practised by generations of locals living by the salinity-intruded forests along the coast of Cà Mau Province and modified in different regions, but its unique traditional flavour, which is famed nationwide, has still been retained. Over time the sauce has become an indispensable specialty of the southernmost land.

With an aim to uphold the provincial tourism potential, the People’s Committee of Cà Mau Province is building a plan to protect and promote the values of local intangible cultural heritages.

The province will compile dossiers to submit to the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, seeking recognition of National Intangible Cultural Heritage for the local heritages including Nghinh Ông – Sông Đốc Festival, Hùng King Temple Festival or the traditional craft of making dried shrimp.

Earlier, the traditional beekeeping in U Minh and Trần Văn Thời Districts in Cà Mau Province was also recognised as a national intangible cultural heritage.


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