The bigger the better: Giant banh mi a hit with young customers in HCMC

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A giant bread, which is sold at VND70,000 (US$3.5) at a local bakery in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo courtesy of the baker. A giant bread, which is sold at VND70,000 (US$3.5) at a local bakery in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo courtesy of the baker.

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A Ho Chi Minh baker has unexpectedly hit upon a best-seller: giant, 1.9-kilogram loaves of bread.
Nguyen Van Yen, the owner of a bakery in Tan Phu’s District, said he gets dozens of orders every day for his latest product, which is around 70 centimeters long.
The bread requires 2.5-3 kg of flour and completely fills up his oven, he said.
A normal banh mi only needs around 100g of flour.
The 58-year old said it all started when he tried making a banh mi from half a kilogram of flour, or five times larger than a normal bread.
“The big one was so popular that I decided to enlarge the size to one that fills the oven.”
The mammoth bread costs VND70,000 (US$3.5), 30 times the price of a normal-seize one.
It takes 65 minutes to bake it, compared with 17 minutes normally.
But according to Yen, that is not the most difficult task; carrying them to customers is. His employee has to lug them one by one on his shoulder.
Yen, who has been a baker for over 30 years, said most of the large-sized breads are bought by young customers, who are willing to place their order the previous day.

Nguyen Van Yen, 58, poses with his giant banh mi.

Two excited young customers with the giant bread.

 

One of Yen’s giant breads beside a normal-sized one.

Yen has to use a machine to knead the flour for his giant breads.

 

Flour for a giant bread must prove for 3 - 4 hours before being baked.

 

Making the giant bread

 

The finished product.

 

Spreading a thin layer of butter on the bread to make it tastier.

 

The bread weighs 1.9 kilograms.

 

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