One of the most popular street food in Vietnam is Banh mi, which basically means bread but also refers to some of the country’s delicious baguettes.
You can find Banh mi anywhere and people who sell will somehow use different ingredients from everyone else.
The mixed flavor between continents, regions
In Vietnam you see carts on the side of the road hawking banh mi – each seller will have his own variant of the snack. It represents the unique fusion that takes place in Vietnam between Asian flavours (coriander, pickles, chili, fish sauce) and the French colonials who taught the locals how to bake baguettes, and introduced things like pate. With many foreigner, it is the coriander that makes a banh mi sandwich taste so unique. This Vietnamese ingredient rarely occur in sandwich of western world. Mixed with the meat, and pickles, and fresh ingredients, all bundled up in a chunk of baguette that has a crispy outside and a soft, pillowy inner, it makes a pretty satisfying dishes.
The traditional Banh mi has pate, cilantro and ham, while the other variants have roast pork and grilled chicken. And Ban mi own numerous version for respective regions. Banh Mi Que is a narrower sandwich with just liver pate and cilantro, derived from Hai Phong – a northen province of Vietnam. While, Hoi An City is famous for special Banh mi with deep flavor sauce and variety of input.
From family brand to chain of store
The queue in front of Madame Phuong – a street mall selling Banh mi at Hoi An, becomes a familiar scene. Families with young children, couples and twenty-something backpackers crane their necks in anticipation as they edge closer to what they all have separately searched out to find: the best pork roll in Vietnam.
One particular banh mi created by Madame Phuong and her family has been made famous by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who sampled the sandwich some years back. Banh Mi Phuong has been lined up eight-deep ever since and one bite tells you why. There are actually two locations of Banh Mi Phuong, one at 2B Phan Chau Trinh and another in the central food market.
However, attractiveness of Vietnamese Banh mi not just only found in famous family store. In Hanoi, there are numerous brands with chain of store selling these cuisine, such as Banh mi Hoi an, Banh mi Minh Nhat, Bami King… In Vietnamese daily life, Banh mi can be a light snack for breakfast, a small lunch and a dinner for someone in hurry; a familiar part of Vietnam culinary picture.