HomeCalendarFAQSearchMemberlistUsergroupsRegisterLog in

Share | 

 The Art of the Pho

Go down 

Posts : 34
Join date : 2010-11-06

PostSubject: The Art of the Pho   Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:59 pm

Story written by: Nyugen Ngoc Thanh Mai

Vietnam's most popular dish

Pho, the popular Vietnamese beef and noodle concoction, boiled into a thick and rich broth, holds a special place among the many traditions and cultures in Vietnam. Like the many other ethnic foods introduced from this country, Pho not only emphasizes its role within the Vietnamese communities, but is also gaining global recognition as a special culinary and cultural feature of Vietnam. Even US President Bill Clinton was said to have endorsed the taste of Pho during his visit to Vietnam.

Perceiving Pho as a cultural value and part of the national heritage, several attempts have been made to study and trace back the birth of this traditional food. Documents and research show that Pho may have appeared around the end of 19th and beginning of 20th century. Different lines of historical research converge into two school of thoughts; one of which theorizes that pho may have taken its root from the French dinner pot-au-feu, while the other traces its beginning to a small village in Northern Vietnam where poor villagers invented Pho and sold as a means to earn a livelihood.

The original version of Pho is quite different from what people are familiar with today. At first, it was primarily beef, rice noodles and broth that made a bowl. Northern Pho purists hold the pride and reputation for crafting such an initial simple formula into a well-balanced bowl with irresistible smell and flavor. When Pho migrated to the South, the practice of garnishing Pho with bean sprouts, ngo gai (thorny cilantro), hung que (Asian basil) and lime was introduced. Tuong đen, tuong do (black and red hoisin sauce) were also added.

People then turned to variations in introducing different types of meat, e.g. well-done or half-cooked brisket, soft tendon, muscles, tripe. Pho with chicken and recently with oyster are diversifying options for Pho as well. As for side-dish, eaters can ask for extra beef or chicken, young chicken eggs, extra spring onion which strengthen the broth, raw beef soup in which the softness of half-cooked beef mixes wonderfully with spicy broth and black pepper, or order a portion of chicken egg yolk in broth which taste fantastically with spring onion.

In family union or group gatherings, people can opt for beef hotpot which can serve 4 to 5 people. The hotpot tastes exactly like Pho because the formula for broth is the same. The difference is that it is served in a big pot on the fire, together with noodles of different types, various kinds of herbs and sauces. The broth keeps boiling for eaters to cook the raw meat to well-done or half-cooked on their own, depending on each favourite.

Pho has always been a dish which fits the pocket of every Vietnamese. During the colonial times, Pho was sold by street vendors as a staple meal for all. The poor could afford a bowl, while the middle class considered it an acceptable dinner. Pho continued to live with the Vietnamese during the ups and downs of its turbulent history. It’s been the breakfast, lunch, and dinner of people from every social class. It is of no wonder then, that Pho has been so deeply entrenched in the roots of Vietnam’s heritage – one word that distinguishes it as a history, a life and a culture!
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://takemetosaigon.forumotion.asia
The Art of the Pho
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
 :: FOODIES PARADISE :: Street Food-
Jump to: