I will never forget my grandmother cooking every morning and serving steaming hot noodle soup to passers by and regulars at her open house street food stall. I often get glimpses into her children’s memories (my aunts and uncles) of war, poverty, escapism, love and resilience but most of all, the surrender to good food. She loved my mother, her daughter in law because they had in common the desire and hankering for deliciousness.
In times of need, my mother then opened a little bánh mì stall outside our Saigon house in the early 80s, just before we refuged in England. Today, when she can get hold of these amazing soft, yet crispy and crunchy baguettes, we have them filled with barbecued pork, or Vietnamese sausages or shallot omelette stuffed with coriander, cucumber and pickled carrots and mooli; sprinkled with those dangerously fiery bird eye chillies. Heaven in a bite. Heaven in a length of a baguette. Pleasure in every sense.