The Best Vietnamese Candy: Sweet Memories of Vietnam

Vietnamese candy, a symbol of tradition, holds a special place in the hearts of locals and travelers alike. It’s more than just a sweet treat; it’s a gateway to the soul of Vietnam. Explore the world of Vietnamese candy, where culture, cuisine, and memories converge.

See more: Vietnamese Cuisine – A Vibrant Culinary Adventure

Popular Vietnamese Candy Varieties

Vietnamese candy is a treasure trove of flavors and traditions waiting to be unraveled. In this exploration, we dive into the world of Vietnamese confectionery, from the sweet and chewy to the crispy and delightful.

Vietnamese Coconut Candy

Did you know that Vietnam has a rich tradition of crafting delectable candies, especially the renowned Vietnamese coconut candy? This treat is not just a delightful confection but a taste of the nation’s history and culture.

Vietnamese coconut candy, known locally as “kẹo dừa,” has deep roots in Vietnamese culinary traditions. Its history can be traced back to the Mekong Delta region, where coconut trees thrive. This region’s fertile soil and abundant coconut palms have given birth to a candy that’s cherished both locally and internationally.

The origins of coconut candy production can be dated back several centuries. Local artisans in the Mekong Delta developed the craft, utilizing the bountiful coconuts from the region to create a unique delicacy. The process was initially labor-intensive, with coconut meat being hand-carved and processed into delicious bites. Over time, the methods evolved to become more efficient, yet the essence of the candy remained the same.

The making of Vietnamese coconut candy is a careful and time-honored process. It starts with the coconut tree, often referred to as the “Tree of Life” due to its myriad uses in Vietnamese culture. The candy’s primary ingredient is fresh coconut, with its creamy, fragrant flesh extracted and grated to perfection.

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Coconut Candy Is The Most Popular Vietnamese Candy
Coconut Candy Is The Most Popular Vietnamese Candy – Source: Internet

For travelers to Vietnam, trying Vietnamese coconut candy is more than just satisfying a sweet tooth. It’s a cultural journey that connects you with the heart of the country. You can witness the candy-making process in local workshops, where skilled artisans carry on the time-honored traditions.

Whether you buy these delectable treats as souvenirs for loved ones back home or as a personal indulgence, Vietnamese coconut candy offers a taste of tradition and a piece of Vietnam’s culinary heritage. As you savor each bite, you’re not only experiencing a delicious sweet but also the rich history and diverse flavors of this vibrant nation.

So, on your next trip to Vietnam, make sure to add a taste of Vietnamese coconut candy to your culinary adventure. It’s a journey through culture and cuisine that you won’t want to miss.

Kẹo Lạc (Vietnamese Peanut Candy)

Kẹo Lạc, or Vietnamese peanut candy, is a beloved treat that combines the sweetness of sugar with the satisfying crunch of roasted peanuts. This confection is a delightful blend of flavors and textures, making it a favorite in Vietnamese households and a must-try for those exploring Vietnamese cuisine.

Peanut Candy
Peanut Candy – Source:

The process of making Kẹo Lạc involves simmering sugar and water to create a syrup, which is then infused with the rich aroma of roasted peanuts. Once cooled, the candy is pulled until it achieves the desired consistency, resulting in a sweet, milky white candy with a peanut-filled center. Often, a touch of lemon is added during cooking to prevent crystallization, enhancing the candy’s smoothness. Kẹo Lạc is not only a delicious treat but also a cultural symbol of togetherness, as families often come together to make and share this candy during special occasions.

Kẹo Mè Xửng (Sesame Candy)

Kẹo Mè Xửng, or sesame candy, is a delightful Vietnamese snack known for its nutty and nutritious qualities. This delectable treat features toasted sesame seeds held together by a caramelized sugar syrup.

Sesame Candy Is Chewy And Crunchy
Sesame Candy Is Chewy And Crunchy – Source: VNExpress

The combination of the natural sweetness of sesame seeds and the rich flavor of caramelized sugar creates a harmonious blend that’s both satisfying and healthy. Sesame seeds are a great source of essential nutrients, making this candy not only a tasty indulgence but also a source of energy. Kẹo Mè Xửng can be found in various shapes, from bars to bite-sized pieces, and it’s a popular snack enjoyed by all ages. It’s an excellent choice for those seeking a flavorful and nutritious treat in Vietnamese cuisine, whether as a quick snack or a delightful dessert.

Kẹo Kéo (Vietnamese Taffy)

When you explore the rich tapestry of Vietnamese sweets, one confection stands out – kẹo kéo, the traditional Vietnamese chewy candy. This delightful treat goes beyond its delicious taste; it’s deeply rooted in Vietnam’s culture and history.

Kẹo Kéo Is A Childhood Snack Of Many Vietnamese People
Kẹo Kéo Is A Childhood Snack Of Many Vietnamese People – Source: Internet

Crafting Vietnamese peanut candy at home is a delightful culinary adventure. Using a mixture of sugar and water, with a touch of lemon to prevent crystallization, you create a base. Once cooled, pull the sugar until it transforms into a milky white and hard texture. Add roasted peanuts, roll the candy, and savor the perfect blend of sweetness and crunch. To enhance the flavor, consider adding a few drops of banana or vanilla oil while pulling the sugar. Your homemade peanut candy can be preserved by wrapping it in glassine paper, placing it in a sealed jar, and storing it in a dry, sun-free spot. Enjoy the art of creating this beloved Vietnamese treat in your own kitchen.

Kẹo kéo embodies the heart and soul of Vietnamese culture, and these stories serve as a testament to the candy’s enduring significance. Whether shared with family, friends, or visitors, kẹo kéo brings smiles and bonds people in a sweet celebration of life.

Dried Fruit Candy (Mứt) 

As we explore the world of Vietnamese candies, a particular treat deserves its own spotlight during Tet, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year – Mứt, or dried fruit candy. In this article, we will delve into the delightful tradition of Mứt during Tet, its significance, the variety of candied fruits, and the joy it brings to this festive holiday.

The Significance of Mứt in Tet

Tet, the Vietnamese Lunar New Year, is a time of joy, reunion, and new beginnings. Mứt plays a significant role in these celebrations as it symbolizes hopes for a sweet and fruitful year ahead. Offering Mứt to family, friends, and guests is an age-old gesture of goodwill, and these candies are often presented in beautifully decorated boxes or plates.

A Variety of Candied Fruits

Mứt comes in an array of candied fruits, nuts, and seeds, each carrying its own symbolism and significance:

Dried Fruit Candy Is Indepensable In Tet Holiday
Dried Fruit Candy Is Indepensable In Tet Holiday – Source: Internet
  • Candied Kumquat (Mứt Tắc): These tiny, bright orange kumquats represent good luck and prosperity. The sweet and slightly tangy flavor adds a burst of flavor to the celebration.
  • Candied Lotus Seeds (Mứt Hạt Sen): Lotus seeds symbolize fertility and new beginnings. The delicate crunch and natural sweetness make them a favorite among those celebrating Tet.
  • Candied Coconut (Mứt Dừa): Coconut is a classic ingredient in Vietnamese sweets. Candied coconut strips are cherished for their chewy texture and tropical flavor.
  • Candied Ginger (Mứt Gừng): Ginger, known for its warmth, is believed to ward off illness. Candied ginger brings a spicy kick to the array of sweet treats.

During the lead-up to Tet, you can find Mứt in abundance in local markets, shops, and street vendors throughout Vietnam. The candy is often sold in vibrant, decorative packaging, making it a popular choice for gifts and as a gesture of goodwill. It’s also common to prepare Mứt at home, with families engaging in the age-old tradition of candying these fruits, seeds, and nuts.

One of the best ways to experience Mứt during Tet is to be invited into a Vietnamese household. It’s here that you can witness the true essence of this tradition, with families offering guests an array of Mứt, sharing stories, and exchanging well-wishes for the year ahead.

Vietnamese Guava Candy

Vietnamese guava candy is distinguished by its unique blend of flavors. It encapsulates the sweet and slightly tangy essence of guava fruit, a tropical delight loved for its refreshing taste. This natural sweetness is harmoniously paired with the creamy richness of coconut milk, resulting in a candy that’s both smooth and delectable.

The texture of Vietnamese guava candy is a key part of its charm. It boasts a delightful contrast to the tropical burst of flavors. With each bite, you experience a harmonious fusion of creamy and fruity notes, creating a mouthwatering sensation.

Fragrant and Delicious Guava Candy
Fragrant and Delicious Guava Candy – Source: Internet

For those with a passion for culinary exploration, consider visiting workshops or cooking classes that offer insights into the craft of making guava candy. It’s a wonderful way to learn about the cultural significance and artisanal methods behind this sweet delight.

Vietnamese guava candy is a unique and delightful confection that offers a window into the tropical flavors of the country. Its fusion of guava’s sweet tanginess and coconut milk’s creaminess creates a sensory experience that’s a must-try for any visitor to Vietnam. So, when you find yourself in this culinary wonderland, don’t miss the opportunity to savor the exceptional flavors of Vietnamese guava candy and explore the many other culinary wonders it has to offer.

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Vietnamese Candy Ingredients

The heart of Vietnamese candies lies in their simplicity and natural flavors. Most Vietnamese candies are crafted from just two main ingredients: sugar and fruits. This combination creates a delightful balance of sweetness and the authentic taste of tropical fruits.

In Vietnam, the abundance of locally grown fruits is a significant advantage. The tropical climate and fertile land make it easy to cultivate a wide variety of fruits, from coconuts and guavas to mangoes and kumquats. This accessibility to fresh, ripe fruits contributes to the exceptional taste and quality of Vietnamese candies.

Strawberry Candy Is A Popular Sweet Treat in Vietnam
Strawberry Candy Is A Popular Sweet Treat in Vietnam – Source: Internet

The process of making these candies typically involves cooking sugar to create a syrup, and then adding the fruit pulp or essence. The result is a fusion of sugar’s sweetness and the natural fruit flavors, creating a harmonious blend that pleases the palate.

The use of locally sourced fruits not only enhances the taste but also adds a touch of authenticity to these sweets. When indulging in Vietnamese candies, you’re not just enjoying confections; you’re savoring the essence of Vietnam’s abundant and vibrant fruit culture. It’s a sweet reminder of the country’s rich agricultural heritage and a true embodiment of “farm-to-table” in the world of confectionery.

Where to Find Vietnamese Candy

If you’re on a journey to discover the delightful world of Vietnamese candy, you’ll want to know where to find these sweet treasures. In this article, we’ll guide you through popular markets, shops, and online sources, recommend regions for candy hunting, help you identify authentic candies for souvenirs, and even mention some notable candy festivals in Vietnam.

Markets, Shops, and Online Sources

  • Local Markets: Vietnamese candy can be found in abundance at traditional markets across the country. Look for bustling markets like Ben Thanh Market in Ho Chi Minh City, Dong Xuan Market in Hanoi, and Hoi An’s Central Market. These markets offer a variety of candies, often in vibrant, eye-catching displays.
  • Souvenir Shops: Souvenir shops in tourist hotspots are a great place to purchase Vietnamese candy. Shops near popular attractions like the Hanoi Old Quarter or the ancient town of Hoi An offer a wide range of candies, making it easy to find sweet souvenirs.
  • Online Retailers: In today’s digital age, you can even shop for Vietnamese candy online. Websites and e-commerce platforms offer a convenient way to purchase these sweets. Make sure to read reviews and check for the authenticity of the products when buying online.

Regions for Candy Hunting

If you’re looking to explore specific regions in Vietnam known for their unique candy traditions, consider these:

  • Mekong Delta: This lush region in the south is famous for producing coconut-based candies. You’ll find a variety of coconut candies, including the chewy kẹo kéo, in places like Ben Tre and Vinh Long.
  • Hue: Known for its royal heritage, Hue offers a wide range of traditional Vietnamese sweets, including candies like mứt and crystallized ginger.
  • Da Lat: Nestled in the Central Highlands, Da Lat is known for its artful creations, including colorful and intricate candies that make perfect souvenirs.

Identifying Authentic and High-Quality Candies

When shopping for Vietnamese candy, here are some tips to ensure you’re getting authentic and high-quality products:

  • Check Packaging: Look for candies that are well-packaged and sealed. Authentic products often come in decorative and colorful wrappings.
  • Ask Locals: Engage with local vendors or residents to seek their recommendations. They can often point you in the direction of trusted sellers.
  • Read Reviews: If you’re buying online, read reviews and ratings from previous customers to gauge the quality and authenticity of the candy.
  • Consider Ingredients: Authentic candies often use high-quality and local ingredients. Read the ingredient list to ensure you’re getting the real deal.
  • Visit Workshops: For a hands-on experience, consider visiting candy-making workshops or factories. This is not only a fun experience but also an opportunity to purchase candies directly from the source.

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Vietnamese candy is more than a taste; it’s an exploration of tradition and hospitality. As you embark on your journey, don’t miss the chance to experience the diverse world of Vietnamese candies. Discover a piece of Vietnam in every sweet bite, whether as souvenirs, gifts, or culinary treasures. Share your own sweet stories, and let Vietnam’s cultural richness sweeten your memories.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Make Vietnamese Coconut Candy?


  • 200g shredded coconut
  • 200g sugar
  • 100ml water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. In a pan, combine sugar, water, and salt. Heat until it turns into a thick syrup.
  2. Add shredded coconut, stirring well to coat it in the syrup.
  3. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens and becomes sticky.
  4. Remove from heat, let it cool slightly, and shape into small rectangles or squares.

How to Make Vietnamese Ginger Candy?


  • 250g fresh ginger
  • 200g sugar
  • 100ml water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. Peel and thinly slice the ginger.
  2. Boil the ginger slices for 5 minutes to remove bitterness. Drain and rinse.
  3. In a pan, combine sugar, water, and salt. Heat until it becomes a syrup.
  4. Add ginger slices and simmer until they are translucent and the syrup thickens.
  5. Remove from heat and let it cool. Serve with sugar coating.

How to Make Vietnamese Peanut Candy?


  • 200g roasted peanuts
  • 200g sugar
  • 100ml water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  1. In a pan, combine sugar, water, and salt. Heat until it becomes a syrup.
  2. Add roasted peanuts and stir until they are well coated in the syrup.
  3. Continue stirring until the mixture thickens.
  4. Pour the mixture onto a greased surface and flatten it.
  5. Once cool, cut it into small pieces and enjoy.