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Feb 26, 2012 04:39 AM

baguette in Vietnam and Cambodoa

Countries where you can eat the local bread are great. I have heard that baguette in Vietnam and Cambodia can be trusted in the same way that it can be trusted in France.

Anyone have knowledge of this?

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  1. The baguettes we had in Vietnam were pretty ordinary to me. We're not talking about Eric Kayser or Poilane or a good Parisian boulangerie. It was fine and edible but not remarkable.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Roland Parker

      Edible is all AdinaA is asking for! Edible fresh bread is a great improvement over having to shlep your own. The question is whether this information is indeed correct, and personally I very very much doubt it. It doesn't seem reasonable to me that one could trust Vietnamese or Cambodian bakeries not to use lard or something.

      BTW, even in France it's not so simple any more.

    2. I have not heard this, although I've never heard anyone categorically say they weren't OK, either; we spent several weeks there in 2010.

      Go to Halong Bay, in Vietnam, on an overnight cruise! It was one of the most beautiful places I'd ever been. We made had the people at our hotel, through whom we booked the cruise, explain that we'd need to do our own cooking, so we were down in the yacht kitchen with the cooks, preparing our own meals. They were confused by us, but helpful. Also, get a guide in Angkor Wat! It will change your experience. We booked Mao through our hotel, the Golden Banana (a gay-friendly place, but they were perfectly lovely to us straight folks) - try to get him, as he was wonderful, with excellent English.

      1 Reply
      1. re: GilaB

        Thank you Gila, this is very useful.

      2. I would trust Andrea Nguyen on this who says, "In Vietnam, fat is a luxury. Why would they add it to bread?"

        With the influence France had on the cuisine in Vietnam, I doubt if the traditional baguette made in commercial establishments there would have any fat in it at all.

        5 Replies
        1. re: RelishPDX

          Why would they add it to bread? To grease the pans, if nothing else. Or to make their bread just that tiny bit better. And because they're very fond of their pork, it would never occur to them that anyone might have a problem with it.

          1. re: zsero

            I doubt that there is any greasing of the pans with pig fat. With the large Buddhist chay (vegetarian) population and a number of chay holidays which are recognized by practicing Buddhists - that wouldn't be respectful.

            Now the real questions - are plain rice noodle sheets (banh cuon) kosher without a hechsher and when will we finally see kosher nuoc mam?

            1. re: apathetichell

              In the US, plain rice noodle sheets are kosher without a hechscher according to many.

              1. re: apathetichell

                The Star-K says plain rice noodles made with only rice starch and water are fine without a hechsher. I have assumed that this is true for all shapes (including sheets), and that salt is also an OK ingredient.

                There's kosher nuac mam in Israel, from the IMO brand: I have a bottle and a half, although I've rationed it out well beyond the point that I should have, and it's gotten the crystals at the bottom that it gets when it's over-fermented, apparently. I still like it, and given the difficulty that I have in getting it, I'm not tossing it. Has anybody seen it sold in America recently?

                1. re: GilaB

                  I've never seen it for sale in person, but I did see it at various online spots. It seems to have disappeared even from those outlets in the last two to three years though. Interestingly - we can get those spice packets which include fish sauce as an ingredient in their Thai curries fairly easily. They're KF - Passover/Kitinyot so by definition it should be possible to have a kosher for passover fish sauce.

                  As compensation - we do get real (RCC certified) Huy Fong kosher sriracha in L.A. though.