I had been wanting to do this for a while, and I'm sorry that it took Dave Brubeck's death for me to get around to it. I've been a fan of banh mi for a while, doing them from scratch at home a while back, and have been messing around with various forms of charcuterie for years. One of the central spice combos for French-informed pates, etc, is quatre epice, (4 spices, if you're scoring at home). Similarly, one of the central spice combos in some Vietnamese cooking is 5 spice powder. Considering that the banh mi is a sandwich that features two types of pate* it seemed logical to do a 5 spice pate and a 4 spice pate as an hommage to the favorite jazz song of people who don't like jazz -Dave Brubeck's "Take 5," notable for being in 5/4 time. The 5-spice was a very simple shoulder/spice/potato starch prep from Hot, Sour, Salty, Sweet, and the 4 spice was a riff on Polcyn and Ruhlman's pate grandmere from their charcuterie book. Worked out pretty well, though I imagine the echo of the song would not be self-evident. Play us off, Dave:
*We will address the burgeoning problem of how some folks will basically take a dump on an Italian sub roll and call it banh mi some other time.