Du Zhaoming (left), owner of the Du Family's Rice Cake Store, and his father mix the rice flour for the rice cake making. [Photo/WeChat account: snd-szgxqfb]
Du Family's Rice Cake Store in Tong'an town, Suzhou New District, has been run by five generations of Du family for more than 100 years.
The rice cakes made by the family have long been a memory of the childhoods of many Tong'an residents.
Du Zhaoming, the fifth inheritor of the rice cake store, said that hand making, the best raw materials, and glutinousness are the key to their century-old business.
In order to make the most glutinous rice cake, Du is particular about raw material configuration, heat control and the strength of beating the flour dough.
To make the rice cakes, pour the well-mixed glutinous rice flour into a wooden bucket and steams it for 10 minutes. During the steaming, Du will check the rice flour from time to time and adjust the heat.
Then, pour the steamed rice flour into a basin and the next step is the key: beating and kneading the rice flour.
The procedure requires two people: one is to beat the rice flour with a wooden hammer and the other one is to knead the rice flour. Rap oil also needs to be applied to the rice flour dough during the beating-kneading process to add the rice cake another flavor and also prevent the dough sticking to the hammer.
The continuous beating and kneading makes the rice cake more chewy and glutinous and the fragrance of rice slowly emanates.
The last step is to cut the kneaded dough into cubes and the tasty rice cakes will be ready.
The Du family just makes three kinds of rice cakes: plain rice cakes, brown sugar rice cakes and pumpkin rice cakes.
A worker puts some sweet-scented osmanthus onto the rice cakes for decoration. [Photo/WeChat account: snd-szgxqfb]