Ho Chi Minh City’s ongoing first Banh Mi Festival, which kicked off on Thursday, is attracting throngs of residents, tourists and expats.
Hundreds of visitors gathered at the Youth Culture House in downtown Ho Chi Minh on the second day of the festival to explore and savor different types and fillings of banh mi, which is a Vietnamese baguette filled with paste, cold cuts, herbs, cucumber, chili sauce and pickles.
|A woman takes a photograph of her friends with a picture decorated with loaves of banh mi. Photo: Tieu Bac / Tuoi Tre News|
Among various types of banh mi are sweet bread, meat-filled baguette, banh mi with grilled fermented pork filling, dragon-, fish-, flower- and leave-shaped bread, and banh mi made of dragon fruit.
“Loving the food! Loving the people here! [They’re] so friendly and welcoming,” Marylou and her husband, two Canadian citizens, said concurrently while enjoying banh mi at the festival.
The couple just arrived in Vietnam two days ago to attend their son’s wedding party and will stay here for three weeks.
They told Tuoi Tre (Youth) News that this is the first time they came to Vietnam and attended a food festival in this Southeast Asian country.
“In Canada, we have a lot of food festivals. My daughter-in-law is Vietnamese. She runs a restaurant in Canada. We often go to food festivals with them.”
“We want to come back here and try it [banh mi] again. It looks so good”, Marylou added.
|Revelers line up to buy banh mi at a booth. Photo: Tieu Bac / Tuoi Tre News|
Visitors can take photos with many big pictures decorated with a number of loaves of banh mi at the festival.
Besides, revelers, mainly baguette lovers, have a chance to watch bakers’ show their banh mi-making skills at the festival, which was co-organized by the Ho Chi Minh Department of Tourism and the municipal Tourism Association.
“Most people know about the festival, so there are many people here,” said Harriet Tomas, a Filipino teacher at a kindergarten in Ho Chi Minh City.
She told Tuoi Tre News on Friday that various types of Vietnamese banh mi attracted her to the banh mi festival. The Philippines does not have banh mi as Vietnam.
Banh mi is my favorite food in Vietnam, while sandwich is popular in the Philippines, she said, adding she did like Vietnamese banh mi.
|Kids express their happiness when joining the ongoing Banh Mi Festival in downtown Ho Chi Minh City. Photo: Minh Duy / Tuoi Tre News|
As one of the most sought-after cuisine events in the city in the first quarter of the year, the banh mi festival, which is set to wrap up this Sunday, is featuring nearly 120 booths from well-known bakeries, restaurants and brands nationwide.
During the festival’s first-ever edition this year, the organizer set a record of which a Vietnamese map was created by 105 types of fillings served with banh mi.
Also, the four-day event served a banh mi buffet party and incorporated a scientific conference on the development journey of banh mi in Vietnam.
In addition, visitors to the event can enjoy cultural and art performances and take part in business networking activities.
|A banh mi vendor grills fermented pork – a filling of banh mi. Photo: Minh Duy / Tuoi Tre News|
The festival is aimed at popularizing the uniqueness and attractiveness of Vietnamese banh mi among bread lovers, foodies and international tourists.
The banh mi festival is expected to become an annual food event in Ho Chi Minh City and bring many domestic and international travelers to the city to enjoy one of Vietnam’s specialties.
|A baker shows his banh mi-making skills. Photo: Minh Duy / Tuoi Tre News|
|A wide range of banh mi on display at the Banh Mi Festival. Photo: Tieu Bac / Tuoi Tre News|
|Two Canadians visit Banh Mi Festival in downtown Ho Chi Minh City on Friday, March 31, 2023. Photo: Minh Duy / Tuoi Tre News|
|Various types of banh mi on display at the Banh Mi Festival. Photo: Tieu Bac / Tuoi Tre News|
|Harriet Tomas, a Filipino kindergarten teacher in Ho Chi Minh City, said she did like Vietnamese banh mi. Photo: Minh Duy / Tuoi Tre News|
|A banh mi cart. Photo: Tieu Bac / Tuoi Tre News|