The Presidential Daily Brief

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    Banh Mi: The Flavor of Vietnam’s History … and Future

    Hail the king of sandwiches! It started in the early 20th century, when French colonists in Vietnam, pining for a taste of home, imported crusty baguettes. The banh mi evolved into a creamy, spicy gem native to Ho Chi Minh City but with global reach, thanks to the Vietnamese diaspora. What used to be haute cuisine became more accessible and affordable by swapping out some of the meat for vegetables. The sandwich remains a street food staple, but Vietnam’s growing bourgeoisie is salivating over the number of upscale purveyors peddling this colonial fusion.

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