Banh Mi is the brain child of hundreds of years of cultural and epicurean fusion. While to the unlearned eye it appears to be little more than a sub sandwich, Banh Mi’s modest presentation belies its symbolic stature as a cultural food merger.
For hundreds of years, the Vietnamese were occupied in some manner or another by the French, who brought with them a taste for original and exotic cuisine, along with many food innovations of their own. Though it bears a striking resemblance to the French Baguette, Banh Mi bread is lighter, crispier and has a thinner crust, giving it a slight but satisfying crunch. Housed within the Bahn Mi shell is a slew of various delicious meat and veggie options. Most often, the meat of choice is pan-roasted or seasoned pork belly, Vietnamese sausage or some other type of traditional Vietnamese pork product. However, over the years the Banh Mi, or Vietnamese Po-Boy as it is colloquially known, has been altered to include such meats as grilled chicken, sardines, fried eggs, fried pork meatballs, along with head cheese and tofu.