Popular Street Food for Vietnamese People
Order ID 53563633773 Type Essay Writer Level Masters Style APA Sources/References 4 Perfect Number of Pages to Order 5-10 Pages
Popular Street Food for Vietnamese People
Sandwiches originated from Vietnam and became a popular street food for Vietnamese people during the 1950’s under the control of French colonialism. Vietnamese people combined a French baguette with fresh herbs and vegetables cultivated from their unique agriculture to create a delicious hand held meal. The cultural fusion then migrated to the United States around the 70’s when Vietnamese refugees sought safety from the Vietnam War. Many immigrants came without anything but only the intangible memories and recipes that were familiar to them. Despite their misfortune many immigrants became successful business people, including restaurateurs who served authentic Vietnamese dishes like banh mi. Today the sandwich has imprinted recognition in communities that embrace international diversity however, recently banh mi has seen unprecedented popularity due to new trends shared by Americans.
Banh mi has been a popular among Vietnamese people, but today the Vietnamese sandwich has caught the attention of a different segment. In the past many Vietnamese sandwich shops in the U.S. have been located in heavily populated Vietnamese communities. These international districts are located along the west coast in California and Washington, they encompass more than Vietnamese minorities. A high majority of these proprietors have been Vietnamese who sell to other minorities, for this reason it has been popular among descendants of Vietnamese immigrants or other minorities who regularly shop in these districts. It has not been until recently in the U.S. that we have noticed the sandwich reaching past Asian-Americans. Lee’s Sandwiches, a successful Vietnamese deli franchise has commented, “we attract younger crowds that is vowed by computer monitors suspended from the ceiling flashing special deals, full-color bilingual menu signs and chances to win free meals” (Lee’s Sandwich, 2008). They have also noted “80% of the customers in California are non-asian” this is due to the sandwiches being inexpensive to comparable items from other competitive lunch restaurants. Banh mi consumers have shifted over time as expected, we have seen the most recent shift move mainstream due to food trends that control the restaurant industry.
Lately there has been an unwavering emphasis around accommodating to conscious eaters. Even if consumers do not have a legitimate dietary restriction there is high a demand for food options that are interchangeable to specific modifications. This is why banh mi has become such a popular option for consumers, the sandwich has many meat-filling variations that adjust to dietary restrictions. An article written by Huffington post stated, “bánh mì fulfills two key desires of consumers looking for quick meals: It can be adapted to individual tastes and it’s filled with vegetables, giving it at least the appearance of healthfulness” (Kaufman, 2013). The array of selections accommodates to people who are vegetarians, vegans, gluten free eaters, and paleo eaters. Meat filled options can be easily replaced with substitutes without sacrificing the unique flavors of. Main ingredients such as the pickled vegetables and bread are the distinctive ones that make a banh mi identifiable as Vietnamese and French. The natural ingredients are fresh and healthy; they will never be replaced therefore; the sandwich always remains authentic to the Vietnamese flavors. The Vietnamese sandwich encompasses adaptability to all types of dietary needs, that is why it has gone mainstream and become popular among all types of eaters.
Today there are many establishments that sell banh mi sandwiches, these entities operate all over the country. The general concept of the sandwich is fairly easy to make and does not demand difficult culinary technique, the dish can be easily duplicated and done so quickly. The simplicity of the recipe and minimal skill to produce the good allows the sandwich to be sold in different settings. A variety of operating platforms include forms such as, food trucks, stand-alone restaurants, in-line operations, delivery, take out, catering, in-store dining. Mobile establishments can easily set up at concerts, food festivals, or temporary locations to offer a tasty, mess-free, convenient sandwich. Furthermore, there has been a presences of banh mi sandwiches offered in cafeterias and residence halls at American Universities. At Washington State University their dining services sell a tofu banh mi. Selling banh mi sandwiches to students in college shows the versatility and different market segmentation of the product. All of these different types of operating platforms contributed to the sandwiches reputation in special ways, but franchises further familiarized Vietnamese sandwiches to people across the U.S.
The most popular banh mi franchise that exists in the country is Lee’s Sandwiches, they first opened its doors to American patrons in San Jose California, 1983. The chain is from Vietnam and became well-known before transiting into the U.S. market. It has added many Vietnamese items to their menu such as pastries, desserts and beverages which has acquainted non-Vietnamese customers to other dishes. Typically, patrons eat their Vietnamese sandwiches with a Vietnamese coffee that has sweet condensed milk in it. Since 1983 the company has expanded their locations out of California. As of 2006 they have establishments operating in Arizona, Texas, Oklahoma, Nevada, Georgia, Maryland and Oregon. Its expansion and popularity among the public has led to the company investing in new operating methods such as online ordering and drive through services. Lee’s Sandwich is one of the only banh mi vendors that humbly embrace authenticity in their banh mi, other vendors have deconstructed the recipe and have westernized it.
One of those vendors who have westernized the sandwich is Bonmi. Bon mi is an American franchise that is inspired by Vietnamese cuisine, as you can guess by the spelling of the business’s name- and their creative way of suggesting “banh mi”- it does not derive from Vietnamese culture in the slightest but rather is a western take on the sandwich. The founder of the company is named Brian Berger, a Caucasian man who opened his first franchise in New York, 2011. They pride themselves in experimenting and reconstructing the recipe of Banh mi sandwiches by selling them in forms of salads, quinoa, white/brown rice, or noodle bowls. Essentially, they are removing one of the most distinct elements to the dish, the French baguette, and then identifying them as Vietnamese Banh mi’s. Their practices are exploitative and insulting to Vietnamese cuisine. They have beguiled their patrons to believe they are experiencing the true Vietnamese Banh mi but they are not. This shows how popular the Vietnamese sandwich has become, it is so well-liked among Americans that entrepreneurs have decided to imitate the sandwich recipe and capitalize on its flavors that derive from French and Vietnamese flavors.
As the banh mi sandwich becomes more popular in the United States there has been a noticeable impact on its original concept. The Vietnamese sandwich has always offered people a tasty inexpensive lunch that can be made quickly and eaten with no mess, but American influence could possibly jeopardize this. The Tasty! brand has shown investment in their own variation of the Banh mi sandwich by starting their own franchise called The Banh Shop. Their locations have been built dominantly at airports in Texas, Seattle and Canada where influx of customers is always high and bustling. They have expressed their potential for the Vietnamese sandwich by, “hoping banh mi sandwiches can be the next burrito,” meaning they want the dish to be endlessly customizable for anyone even if it compromises the quality and integrity of the dish. Tasty! being the parent company of fast food restaurants like KFC, A&W, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell cannot and should not deliver Banh mi’s at the scope and quality they do for their other franchises. The American owned franchises like BonMi and The Banh Shop have modified the original Banh mi sandwich too far and they are businesses that do not pay homage to Vietnamese cuisine.
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