Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thang Ngo: Banh Mi Expert

One of the more interesting and unexpected culinary phenomena I have observed over the past couple of years has been the growth of popularity in the West of the humble Vietnamese sandwich, now referred to almost universally as banh mi or, in the States, the banh mi sandwich.

It has been quietly popular for a decade or more in the humble South-Western suburbs of Sydney where it was given the terrifically prosaic name of "pork roll." I think that hipster foodies are gradually shifting to the banh mi appellation, though where I live it will probably always remain a "pork roll."

My other half, Thang Ngo, webmaster at, has always been a banh mi expert, and introduced me to the joys of Vietnam's favourite processed-meat sandwich soon after we met, 20+ years ago.

He also conducted the great, and controversial, search for Sydney's best banh mi earlier this year, thereby cementing his reputation as the go-to man for all matters banh mi. And, being a purist, he still rankles at the usage of "banh mi." In Vietnamese, you see, "Banh mi" simply means bread, and the object everyone is currently enjoying is in fact called a "banh mi thit" - a meat sandwich.
Anyway, I knew that banh mi had well and truly entered the lexicon when This American Life did a story on it.
And it is still one of the cheapest, most delicious snacks you could hope for.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Monday Blogcrawl

Vietnamese access to Facebook remains a mystery to me. Occasionally I will receive a flood of likes and comments from friends in Vietnam, and then nothing. Someone tells me Facebook is blocked, someone tells me it isn't. Anyway, this week I had a heap of posts from my VN friends, including lots of pics which made me so happy and so  homesick. Here are some stories about Vietnam that I stumbled upon over the past week:

The temple on Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi, from Buried in Cliches blog.

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