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Vietnamese food

The Traveling Gourmand devours Vietnamese history on a plate

in Nonfiction by

Some meals represent more than the sum of their ingredients; they are history on a plate. Such dishes speak to us of the great migrations and conquests of the past, of suffering and celebration and adaptation to change. Vietnamese banh mi is a dish that offers a snapshot of history. It’s a sandwich of various meats and various condiments combined on crusty bread. This might not seem remarkable to a Westerner—until you recall that in Vietnam, like much of Asia, leavened bread is the exception at the table. Rice—not wheat—is the dominant grain. Banh mi is a culinary mash-up that resulted from the French occupation of the region from the mid-19th to the mid-20th centuries. Food writer Andrea Nguyen reveals…

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