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|Black banh mi with beef and cheese (Photo: VNA)|
Quang Ninh - A new kind of "banh mi" called "banh mi den" (black bread) in Quang Ninh province has caught much attention in recent time for its complete opposite colour to the regular golden yellow Vietnamese staple.
The black "banh mi" was inspired by the land where it comes from, Quang Ninh, home to Vietnam's biggest coal reserve. The northern province is dubbed "the land of coal mines."
Nguyen Van Quyet, a co-founder of BAMIMO, shared that he came up with the idea of baking black bread from a story of Tran Khac Tuan, another co-founder of BAMIMO. He felt nostalgia for baguettes serving workers in coal mines.
“In the past, the baguettes were specially made for the miners’ meals. His father and other relatives brought the baguettes home for him.
“So he thought why not elevate the baguettes and sell them.”
“The ingredient that makes the black colour for the baguette is mainly from ink sacs,” Quyet said.
“I go to the market and purchase ink sacs from fresh cuttlefish. When the cuttlefish are still fresh then the colour will be nice and pure black. It also doesn’t have a fishy smell.”
The ingredients of this "banh mi" is different from that of traditional ones: pate, egg, pork and lettuce.
But that’s not all visitors will find at BAMIMO.
Here to match the cuttlefish ink used for colouring, seafood fillings are the order of the day such as crab and squid cakes.
It also comes with a combination of beef and cheese.
Customers can order online to get a taste of this sandwich, but many prefer to come in person to experience it at the store.
Doan Phuong Anh, 20, living in Cam Pha city, said it takes her 30 minutes away from here. "After work one day, my brother brought these banh mi home for my mother and me."
“I was impressed with the appearance of the banh mi which is totally black. So today, my close friend and I came here to try other flavours.
“I like the cheese ground beefcake the most, it is really fragrant and rich with pepper flavour.
“I am also curious about what ingredient can make the banh mi this black and wonder if it has any special flavour compare to normal banh mi.”
Widely welcomed by local and nearby residents, the founders expect to open more new stalls and hope the black banh mi can become a signature dish of Quang Ninh.
“We hope it can soon be local food, a Quang Ninh speciality. When people go to Quang Ninh, they will think about black banh mi, about BAMIMO,” Quyet said.
It may be black in colour, but there is nothing dull about this sandwich.
The shop is located at No.28 Phu Gia 3 residential complex, Vinhomes Ben Doan, Ha Long town, Quang Ninh province. It opens from 6h30 am to 9 pm.
Banh mi is a favorite snack among both locals and tourists in Vietnam. A typical banh mi costs about 20,000 VND. Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post called Vietnamese banh mi "a cheap snack and global hit’, while British travel publication Culture Trip hailed it among the world’s best street snacks.
A typical banh mi is stuffed with anything from grilled pork, cold cuts and cucumber slices to cilantro, pickled carrots, liver paté, and a swipe of mayonnaise.