Banh banh…


“The Vietnamese dedication to excellent, fresh baguettes is total. Using stale bread is the gravest offense a maker of banh mi can commit.” Well, if you say so, but we’re guessing the NY Times – how shall we count the ways you love Vietnam? — hasn’t been chomping on banh mi behind the Hanoi train station of late.

Can’t find an online version of the year-old timeout story titled Our Daily Bread, but it basically claimed that bakeries in Hanoi are HIGHLY dubious. The young bakers interviewed said they wouldn’t even eat their own bread. Also, at the end of the day vendors re-sell old bread back to the bakeries and the stale bread is ground up and recycled into the latest batch. And don’t even ask about the pâté – but one pâté producer was quoted as saying, “If I bought fresh meat, I would not have much profit.” Giving your customers food poisoning is just collateral damage, like y’know.

The banh mi in NYC do sound and look good though… if you’re there try the banh mi pho (with beef scented with star anise and cinnamon, fresh basil and crunchy bean sprouts) for us.


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