Broken rice, the damaged grains once discarded during the milling process, never needed fixing. It first sustained impoverished laborers and has since become a Vietnamese delicacy, growing so popular some outlets have to painstakingly break rice by hand to meet demand, OZY reports. It’s cuisine that tells a story — from French colonial merchants dumping unwanted riz brizé in Africa, germinating that continent’s own tradition, to the 1980s failings of Hanoi’s collective agriculture.
How is it served? Better known at home as cơm tấm, it’s often accompanied by a smoky barbecued pork chop, flavored with spicy fish sauce and topped with a fried egg.