The Land of Desire: French History and Culture

47. The History of the Bánh Mì

37:10 | Mar 28th, 2019

5 recommendations

This week, we’re taking an up-close look at the uglier side of French history: imperialism, racism, xenophobia, and the resilience of the communities who have had to survive under French power. The ta...Show More


jennx recommended:Aug 3rd

Every bite into a bánh mi is one that takes you through the history of French colonization, social class tension, and Vietnamese resourcefulness.

I thought this episode was:

💡 Educational
🕵️‍ Well-researched

epekilis recommended:Feb 25th

Interesting episode on the history of banh mi in colonial culture. I just heard another episode on a similar theme about the history of coffee on Benjamen Walker’s Theory of Everything.

epekilisFeb 25th

Here is a link to the coffee episode: Listen to "Wake up and smell the coffee!" from Benjamen Walker's Theory of Everything on @podysseyapp:

mmFeb 25th

@epekilis Loved this episode. Still bizarre me why the colonialists would eat yucky canned food instead of delicious pho and banh mi!

epekilisFeb 26th

@mm I’ve been pondering your very good question. The conclusion that I’ve come up with is that food preferences are just as much a matter of social preference and style as . . . clothing or haircuts. I completely agree that Viet Namese food is delicious and canned asparagus is gross, but that’s pu...Show More

mmFeb 27th

@epekilis Yes just plain racism and classism expressed though “food preferences”! Why is pho expected to be cheap, but we’d pay double for Italian pasta when the effort to make both dishes are equal? Why do some parts of the world clear away their street good because it’s viewed as “dirty” and an “e...Show More

epekilisFeb 27th

@mm agreed. I think 100 years ago they would have defined their world differently but that’s what it comes down to. And yes the different pricing for different types of foods is based on a cultural implication of value. 😔

mm recommended:Jul 15th, 2019

Interesting look into the colonial history of the delicious Bánh Mì that is not has delicious. Can't believe the French colonists didn't eat Vietnamese food. It's so good! Thanks @karadidomizio for the podcast reco!

karadidomizioJul 15th, 2019

@mm It is so interesting! I didn’t realize any if this background before this. I also love Vietnamese food too so was shockdd!

mmJul 15th, 2019

@karadidomizio I coincidentally had a lemongrass chicken banh mi a few hours before I echoed this episode, so it was so timely :) Also, the canned food sounds awful.

mmAug 11th, 2019

@serena This episode about the history of Bánh Mì is also really good!

serenaAug 12th, 2019

@mm this is my fave type of podcast ever: blending food with the history and/or culture of a region of the world. Thank you for sharing!

mmAug 12th, 2019

@serena You're welcome! I actually found it through @karadidomizio's Food History playlist: She's the history + travel person around here.