i have finally perfected one of my favorite meals and am so excited to share it with you! i work in a part of portland where there is are myriad asian restaurants and grocery stores. at least once a week i make the short trek with co-workers to best baguette for a sandwich and some bubble tea. i will leave that job with a healthy (?) addiction to bubble tea and after about five attempts making it in my kitchen and i think i’ve nailed it.
when i first heard of bánh mì i was very skeptical. asian food on a baguette. what?! how can those two foods be put together and make sense? but the origins offer an obvious explanation; vietnam was colonized by the french. for over a century france is there shoving its moral and religious values on the native people, taxing them, profiting from opium and alcohol trading, and eventually exploiting the natural resources of the area. only to leave once they’ve created the conditions that will lead to the vietnam war and the arguable genocide of a people.
this sandwich, like many others, is a legacy of colonialism. it makes me wonder what a free exchange of cultures would look like rather than the dominant culture appropriating things (and selling things like the “navajo hipster panty”). this sandwich is also so damn good. it’s a bit conflicting when prefaced with that history. Continue reading