Wednesday, January 1, 2014

A Spoonful of Sofrito: Bangin’ Banh Mís!

Bangin’ Banh Mís 
  A Spoonful of Sofrito: A pinch of advice that will add a lot of flavor to your life!

By Benjamin Ramos,

I believe the three greatest inventions are: the wheel, in door plumbing, and the sandwich.  Are you really surprised a die-hard Foodie like me thinks sandwiches are a better invention than I phones, architecture and culture?  Don’t be!  Sandwiches are amazing! They combine grains, vegetables, proteins, dairy, fats and oils together in perfect synthesis.  They can be eaten for any meal of the day, prepared in a myriad of ways and can be found in almost every culture around the world. One of the most exciting and delicious examples of this culinary work of art is the Vietnamese Banh Mí.

The Banh Mí is a popular sandwich that combines Vietnamese and French ingredients-remember, the French colonized Vietnam-together to create an amazing array of flavors and textures.  A good Banh Mí starts with a Vietnamese influenced French baguette made with Rice flour; this makes the bread crispy, yet soft.  


The sandwich is filled with salty cold cuts (ham or bologna), savory roasted meats (such as pork or beef) and occasionally some fatty pork pâté and pork headcheese.  It also features cucumbers, daikon, pickled carrots, cilantro and chile peppers.  These crunchy vegetables add a wonderful refreshing, piquant and vinegar flavor, which balances out the proteins’ tastes and textures.  

To round it off, Banh Mís are seasoned with a buttery mayonnaise spread, which adds a wonderful creamy, sweet, and fatty flavor to the sandwich.

Banh Mís can be found in every Vietnamese enclave in the city and at some of the best Vietnamese restaurants in Midtown.  Poultry, Seafood and vegetarian versions of Banh Mís are becoming popular as well.  This sandwich’s versatility is amazing and never ceases to impress. 

So if you are a sandwich lover or feel like taking a culinary adventure, then visit one of my featured eateries below and treat yourself to an incredible Banh Mí! Go taste for yourself! ¡Buen provecho! 

1: Bành Mí Zòn: 443 East 6th Street, New York NY  646-524-6384, 

2: Com Tam Ninh Kieu: 2641 Jerome Ave Bronx, NY 10468 (718) 365-2680
3: Saigon Vietnamese Sandwich: 369 Broome Street, New York NY, 212-219-8341

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