Pete Lee

Saturday, March 19, 2005

EPICURE: It's all about mi.

Slashdot may have jumped the shark for some of us geek types. However, Slashdot has succeeded in amusing me today: asking geeks to vote on their favorite sandwich.

I was amazed that the Vietnamese sandwich delicacy known as banh mi didn't make any significant mention. [Pete: as of Monday, it's finally been discussed.] A simple, elegant melange of Vietnamese flavors and textures with a French baking tradition inherited from previous colonization. Many bahn mi I have eaten in Portland are typified by a crunchy crust, a mayonnaise spread, fresh leafy vegetables, cilantro, a kind of pate, meat, julienned strips of lightly sweet, pickled radish and carrots and thin slices of jalapeno. If you like the heat, the flavor of this sandwich can be enhanced by the application of a little sriracha sauce.

This sandwich shares the marks of what constitutes good cuisine to me: the amalgamation of flavors and textures. A generalized experience of umami, if you will.

An informative review of Banh Mi can be found in The Portland Mercury. As the article mentions, they are tradtionally quite cheap ($2.50), and can also be found pre-made (if you're in a hurry) in the deli or checkout counters of most Vietnamese stores. I would, however, encourage you to go to a deli mentioned (Nam's is pretty decent) and experience a freshly prepared one for yourself.


  • Ah yes, UMAMI. This is supposed to be big in the wine world right now. Other than instructors at WCI, I've never heard anyone but yourself mention the term.

    By Blogger Marcus, at Sunday, March 20, 2005 4:44:00 PM  

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