Oh, beautiful banh mi, how you dazzle with your vinegary burn and your cracking heat! The soft sinking sigh I breathe as the cold and hot intermingle and as my teeth break through the crust to the overflowing goodness inside — how I dream of you when you’re away and delight in the exhilarating expectation of each savory crumb when I’m with you!
A banh mi can make even the most rational of eaters break out in bad poetry when they think about one.
Twitter has been aflutter with banh mi rhapsodies and urgent inquiries recently, and the lovely Kendra Bailey Morris wrote glowingly and exhaustively about the banh mi here last fall (plus she thoughtfully included a recipe).
I would put a sizable chunk of change down on the fact that
Calvin Trillin started this (once underground) obsession but although I perused my copy of The Tummy Trilogy , I couldn't find the essay that inspired me and so many others to search out this amazing Vietnemese sandwich. I've started the trilogy over again, so I'll let you know when I run across his piece again.
, I couldn't find the essay that inspired me and so many others to search out this amazing Vietnemese sandwich. I've started the trilogy over again, so I'll let you know when I run across his piece again.
But back to the banh mi: Paté, cold cuts, thin slices of grilled meat, jalapeno, cilantro, daikon and carrots pickled in vinegar, sugar and fish sauce, and all stuffed inside a crusty baguette smeared with mayonnaise — it becomes a compulsion to try each and every kind of banh mi out there to see if you can find your favorite. The problem, of course, is the one that you’re eating now is your favorite.That also might be the best part, don't you think?
Before I saw the recipe Kendra included with her piece, I made a pork meatball banh mi I found in Bon Appetit. It’s amazing — and I made absolutely no alterations to it. My only advice is to make sure the quality of your bread is the very best. It makes all the difference. Here’s a link to the recipe.