The popular street-food sandwich represents a cultural melting pot of flavors.
Tuesday's Google Doodle celebrates banh mi, the popular Vietnamese street food sandwich that's a melting pot of cultures and savory ingredients. Banh mi literally means "bread" and is based on a type of baguette that was introduced to Vietnam in the mid-19th century when Vietnam was part of French Indochina.
Banh mi likely originated on the streets of Saigon in the 1950s, and its global popularity has grown since the end of the Vietnam War, when Vietnamese refugees took the sandwich to countries such as the US, Canada and Australia. Google celebrates banh mi on the ninth anniversary of it being admitted into the Oxford English Dictionary.
For almost as long as Google has been around, it's livened up its barebones search page with artwork that draws attention to notable people, events, holidays and anniversaries. But Google also likes to put food in the Doodle spotlight. Last year, it honored Ignacio Anaya Garcia, inventor of nachos, and proclaimed the falafel as "the best thing that ever happened to chickpeas." In 2017, it cooked up a slideshow to honor the rice noodle.
Google's animated Doodle shows us the making of a typical banh mi. It begins with a thin-crusted baguette being split lengthwise and dressed with condiments such as spicy chili sauce, Maggi seasoning sauce and mayonnaise. It's then filled with a wide variety of savory ingredients, such as meats and vegetables from native Vietnamese cuisine, as well as cucumber slices, cilantro and pickled carrots.
During the past couple of decades, the savory sandwich has spread to markets and restaurants around the world.