This week we visited the Tenderloin neighborhood, which houses a two-block stretch known as “Little Saigon.” Vietnamese refugees arrived in San Francisco after the war in 1975 and the Tenderloin is still the best place in the city to find a cheap and delicious sandwich called a bánh mì.
Over fresh lemongrass tea, we discussed how this delightful breakfast sandwich carries within it the unhappy history of France’s colonization of Vietnam. Students noticed the influence of French cuisine in the baguette and mayonnaise, as well as a Chinese influence in the pickles, cilantro, and tofu.
Each class made its own daikon and carrot pickles to be refrigerated overnight and consumed by the next day’s class, as well as its own mayonnaise using eggs from our very own HMCRA chickens: Flossie, Shirley, and Wanda!
We stuffed our toasted baguettes with the mayonnaise, tofu, pickles, cucumber, and lots of fresh cilantro. The kids loved delivering extra bánh mì to staff around the school before morning circle.