This week on Native, host Briana Kurtz is taking another glance at Vietnam with author, freelance writer, cooking teacher, blogger, and consultant, Andrea Nguyen. With the anniversary of the fall of Saigon in mind, Andrea recalls the incredible tale of her family’s escape from Vietnam just as communists were to overtake the area. Settling in California, she goes on to explain how she came up in the food world, surrounded by family, before telling Briana a few tidbits about the infamous banh mi sandwich and her cookbook, “The Banh Mi Handbook.” Distinguishing between the northern and southern interpretations of the cuisine, it turns out there’s a lot to look out for! After the break, Andrea breaks down the street food scene and mentions that the specialized vendors are so popular due to the fact that there are few restaurants in the populous areas. Tune in to hear Andrea’s thoughts on the most important component of Vietnamese food and how the cuisine in the US is on the rise. This program was brought to you by The International Culinary Center.
“It’s easy to wrap your head around a sandwich. I think in America we’re open to new flavors… the thing with banh mi is it’s light and has all these beautiful flavors and textures and you can really call the shots with the protein.” [10:40]
“The Vietnamese flavor profile is more like rolling hills… it’s not as sweet or salty but has highs and lows.” [27:45]
—Andrea Nguyen on Native