Many people said that Banh mi was a mere version of the French baguette with few differences. However, in Vietnam, Banh mi has completely rid itself of the French origin. This street food has become a long-standing symbol of Vietnamese cuisine that you cannot afford to miss in your Vietnam tour.
Are you curious to discover the journey of Banh mi in your Vietnam private tour? Let’s dig in deeper now.
What are waiting for you?
The Journey Of Banh Mi
The French colonization in the mid-1800s left remarkable traces in every aspect of Vietnam, from architecture, culture to cuisine. Banh mi is one typical example of how Vietnam adapted the original food of the French.
The first loaf of Banh mi was remarkably similar to the French baguette – a staple food in the 19th century. These original bread were served with pork pâté, ham, cheese, and butter in luxurious restaurants only.
Over time, Banh mi became lighter with a softer crust to meet the demands of ordinary Vietnamese locals. The most significant change took place when Mr. and Mrs. Le stuffed the ingredients of ham and cheese inside the Banh mi for convenience. That was, generally speaking, the birth of Banh mi.
After 1975, a high number of Vietnamese immigrated to America and European countries. They began opening food trucks and selling Banh mi along with other traditional foods to make a living. Gradually, foreigners tried and embraced the unique taste of this dish. That explained the popularity of Banh mi worldwide.
Banh mi made its way to the headlines of various newspapers as well as magazines, both local and international ones. In 2017, the prestigious Australian website traveller.com.au rated Banh mi as one of the most delicious sandwiches all over the world. Most recently, Banh mi was the inspiration for the traditional costume of the Vietnam representative in Miss Universe.
Needless to say, Banh Mi is a must-try food in your package tour in Vietnam. Not only it tastes yummy, Banh mi truly represents a cultural highlight of the country.
Banh Mi Ingredients
The word “Banh mi” itself refers to the plain baguette only. An authentic loaf of Banh mi in Vietnam contains a lot of ingredients inside, depending on the taste of customers. Let’s discover the most prevalent variation: “Banh mi thit,” in which “thit” means meat.
This is an essential ingredient, which determines the overall taste of the whole Banh mi. Pâte is a spread made from meat and liver of animals, for example, pig. In your trip to Vietnam, you will find out that most stallholders make this spread on their own to create a unique flavor for every Banh mi sold.
This is a simple combination of egg yolk and cooking oil. Although it seems bland, the mayonnaise will significantly improve the taste of other ingredients once combined. The Banh Mi will become too dry and tasteless without this spread.
As its name suggests, the primary ingredient in the recipe of “Banh mi thit” is undoubtedly meat. A standard piece of meat needs to be well-seasoned and fat, but just slightly. The sellers can add pork sausage as well. Of course, you should expect to pay more than a simple piece of Banh mi with meat. Do not worry; the price will go up just a little.
Last but not least, a delicious loaf of Banh mi would not be completed without green vegetables! The fresh taste of cucumber, pickled carrot, daikon radish, and cilantro will balance the creamy feeling of meat and mayonnaise. You can leave any type of vegetables out if you want. All is to your taste.
Banh Mi Variations
Traveling to Vietnam from North to South, you can discover several Banh mi variations, each of which bears the unique regional characteristic.
Saigon is widely known as the birthplace of the famous “Banh mi thit,” Besides this variation, the Banh mi in Saigon appeals to customers with diverse recipes and fillings.
A prominent name is Banh mi stuffed with pork skin – an ideal breakfast option of Saigonese. On top of that, foreigners can grab a delightful loaf of Banh mi with shumai. For those who do not know, shumai is a traditional Chinese dumpling.
If you have been to Hoian city, chances are you know Banh mi Phuong, which is the most popular Banh mi stallholder among locals and foreigners. Banh mi at Phuong stands out from the crowd with a combination of three homemade kinds of ketchup with herbs and basils.
Banh mi in Hanoi varies according to different weather conditions. Especially in winter, visitors can try sauteed bread with pâté, beef steak, and fried eggs. This dish is an affordable version of the original Western beefsteak.
When you travel on the Vietnam tours, you will have a chance to try various traditional foods. Do not miss out on Banh mi, a famous symbol of Vietnamese cuisine. If you have any questions, contact us right now; we are more than willing to help.