Tag Archives: Paris Store

Banh Mi in Paris

It’s by no means an understatement to call le sandwiche an institution in France.  If people aren’t sitting down to a long lunch at a resto or café, they’re almost invariably nibbling on (or wolfing down) some sort of sandwich, the sale of which constituted a 6.62 billion euro industry last year.  Le Figaro recently called le jambon beurre (ham and butter sandwich) “le sandwiche de la crise.” (Read it in English here).  This cheap, grab-and-go staple, as well as sandwiches in general are rising in price due to increased food costs.  On verra ce que ça va donner.  Grève nationale?  

So, I thought I’d add another sandwiche bon marché contender into the mix — the banh mi.  Now, I’ve made no secret of the fact that I’m an avid fan of these sandwiches.  Banh mi just never seem to get old.  They’ve been the object of many a bike/subway trek in just about every city I’ve lived in, and it shows no signs of slowing down.  Growing up right next to Little Saigon will do that to you, I suppose.  They’ve become all the rage in the US, a trend that has my full support.  The result of the melding of French and Vietnamese tastes during the colonial period — a wonderful byproduct of a rather dark era — Paris and banh mi seemed a natural fit.  (If you’re interested, this WSJ article gives a short history). Continue reading

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Ringing in the Year of the Dragon in Paris

I have vivid memories of Chinese New Year in Beijing.  It’s a huge celebration and the whole city is covered in red and gold.  I remember running from the subway dodging firecrackers (most of which by my estimation were big enough to be considered “fireworks”) to get into our building. We watched from the window of our apartment, which rumbled with their booms and cracks all night long.  The Spring Festival is easily the most important Chinese holiday, which begins on the first day of the lunar calendar and runs for not one but two weeks afterward. Continue reading

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