Google Doodle celebrates Banh Mi, the Vietnamese sandwich

Today’s Google Doodle celebrating Banh Mi, the traditional Vietnamese street vendor sandwich, is sure to get your mouth watering.

No one knows for sure how the banh mi, traditionally spelled bánh mì, was created other than taking its inspiration from French cuisine, specifically their sandwiches made on baguettes. Except the bread, all of the other ingredients of a banh mi are traditional Vietnamese ingredients and flavors like pork pâté and pickled radishes. Like every other sandwich known to man, the banh mi can be made in a variety of different ways, with each restaurant or street vendor putting their own spin on it with different meats, veggies, spices and sauces.

As for why Google has selected today to honor the sandwich, we can thank the Oxford Dictionary for that. On this day in 2011, following its acceptance into our culture and our stomachs, “bánh mì” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary.

In the doodle itself, artist Olivia Huynh depicts a spread of ingredients heavily inspired by the street vendors who spend their days handcrafting the banh mi for the hungry hordes at lunchtime.

Many people helped make this Doodle and contributed to the idea, especially our local market experts. Much of the inspiration came from food cart vendors, how fast they can put everything together, and how good every ingredient is individually.

I hope the Doodle will bring some gratitude to street food vendors and chefs who make them daily, and that many more people will enjoy one. The entire time I worked on this Doodle I was hungry and craving bánh mì. Even though I ate several over the course of working on this, and every time I did, I felt like I found a new appreciation.

To help craft the artwork for the doodle, Huynh teamed up with a 3D artist to render a street food vendor’s cart and the ingredients used to make the sandwich. Google shared some of these 3D examples and much more as concept art on the official Doodle blog.

The doodle and the sandwich it celebrates holds a special place in this author’s heart as a banh mi sandwich was my introduction to sriracha sauce. In fact, if you’ve not yet had the privilege to try a banh mi, I personally recommend you consider having one delivered for lunch.

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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