Sunday, April 15, 2007
Spring rolls for a cause
Cha gio are small spring rolls that, according to Chinese folklore, represent the golden nugget or prosperity. Anyone lucky enough to live in Pittsburgh, Pa., and have a ticket to the annual fundraiser for poor children in Danang wouldn’t want to pass up the uncooked versions they serve there on the side. Wrapped in thin sheets of rice paper soaked in water to make them pliable, the rolls are made fresh by Vietnamese immigrants. They come filled with steamed shrimp, slivers of pork, mint leaves and rice noodles alongside brown peanut dipping sauce.
(Some of the Vietnamese immigrants to Pittsburgh who prepared the food for the April 15 dinner in Bethel Park)
The dinner is sponsored by the Friends of Danang, a group of American Vietnam War veterans that has raised money to build schools on their former battlefields. Now its members are raising money to build a bridge poor village children need to reach their school during the rainy season. Danang has seen rapid economic improvements in recent years, but hundreds of thousands of children in its rural villages still suffer from poverty and illness.