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  • Writer's pictureThe Linguistic Foodie

Blue Taro (khoai môn xanh): 8 different types of bánh mì?!

Updated: Nov 1, 2022

Blue taro, owns a family-run Vietnamese restaurant on Monroe Avenue, but also operates a flourishing kitchen at the public market. Along with a variety of Vietnamese noodle and rice dishes, Blue Taro serves eight different versions of their specialty, the banh mi. The banh mi is a French-inspired Vietnamese sandwich consisting of protein, sauce, and pickled vegetables on a baguette.

As I waited for my fried tofu banh mi, I couldn’t help but thoroughly scan the menu, thinking about how much I wanted to try each dish. I was surprised at the amount of vegan banh mi options they offered, like vegan beef and vegan chicken. I devoured my tofu banh mi in a matter of seconds—the bread was crisp and soft at the same time, the sauce provided a tangy, spicy flavor, and the tofu and crunchy vegetables produced an impeccable texture.

I loved the banh mi so much, I returned the very next week. This time, I opted for the vegan chicken banh mi, which was surprisingly delicious and had a good texture despite being meatless. In the future, I hope to try their other meatless banh mi alternatives.

Originating from a mix of French and Vietnamese cuisine, the sandwich's name comes from banh which refers to a baked good like bread and mi which means wheat. Vietnamese (Tiếng Việt) is a complex language with 6 different tones which are indicated by numerous accents on the familiar Latin alphabet.

Languages of South East Asia Map

Although Vietnamese is widely spoken in Vietnam and in other parts of the world--especially in places like California, Vietnam is home to many endangered languages. One such language is Arem, with less than 600 speakers. Like Arem, 174 Vietnamese languages are dying and need saving through documentation.

Tạm biệt!

-The Linguistic Foodie :)

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