When you cruise the elegant French colonial vestiges of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), stop off at a streetside stall for the Vietnamese take on its former colonisers’ simple salad sandwich – banh mi is a piece of history wrapped in a baguette.
“Tender chunks of grilled pork swaddled inside fluffy French bread combine with Vietnamese mayonnaise, coarsely chopped pickled daikon radish and carrot, together with a touch of eye-watering chili sauce, to create the best East-meets-West moment you’ll ever taste. Close your eyes, take a bite and be transported back to the grand imperial days of old Saigon,” it continues.
Other dishes to make the cut were chouriços from India, kushari from Egypt, dosas from America, and arepas from Colombia.
At Vietnamese bakeries in the US, Canada, Australia, and France, the term banh mi refers to a type of meat-filled sandwich. In Vietnam, it is used for all kinds of bread. People often add words to describe the fillings, such as banh mi ga (bread filled with chicken) or banh mi pâté thit (a sandwich with pâté and pork).