Wisconsin Sandwich Shop’s ‘Veggie Sub Banh Mi’ Sparks Widespread Disgust

Wisconsin Sandwich Shop’s ‘Veggie Sub Banh Mi’ Sparks Widespread Disgust

February 14, 2020
A sandwich shop in Wisconsin is being accused of cultural appropriation by Asian Americans after releasing a limited edition veggie sub that they are calling banh mi. 
Erbert & Gerbert’s Sandwich Shop is receiving heavy criticism on Instagram after it announced its new sandwich: the plant-based roasted red pepper banh mi.
“This thing is loaded to the breads with savory sweet roasted red peppers topped with cucumbers, jalapeño peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, tangy chipotle citrus barbecue sauce and cilantro-mint aioli made from @hellmannsmayonnaise,” the sandwich shop wrote in an Instagram post.
Subscribe to
NextShark's Newsletter

A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.

Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.

Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.

A traditional banh mi contains a wide variety of ingredients, including pickled vegetables, mayonnaise, pâté and meat, which Erbert & Gerbert’s new sandwich lacks.
One Instagram user, @mel.phan, commented that the only thing this sandwich has in common with the traditional Vietnamese breakfast sandwich is the cucumber. Adding that even the bread is a total miss.
“TRY AGAIN!!! Give our culture respect by accurately representing the banh mi or rename the sandwich!” another user wrote in the comment section. “This is a veggie sub from subway, gtfo with your cultural appropriation.”
“@erbertandgerberts we will not sit silent, we will not let this be forgotten. Our country’s history has been mistaken so much. We cannot have the most classic Vietnamese food dish be made so wrongly,” another user wrote. “Do not mess with the Vietnamese community as we are all one country, one family. Do not. Do not. Try something this stupid again. Remove or rename.”
Erbert and Gerbert’s has since issued an apology to its followers, and redirected them to customer support:
“Erbert and Gerbert’s uses inspiration from all over the world to bring flavorful sandwiches to its customers. We apologize for any offense that our most recent creation has caused. The feedback that has been shared is important to us and we’ll use it to guide us in the future.
If you have any further comments or concerns, please message us directly via Customer Support:
Feature Image via @erbertandgerberts
      Bryan Ke

      Bryan Ke is a Reporter for NextShark




      Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.

      Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.

      We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.

      © 2023 NextShark, Inc. All rights reserved.