Saigon Discovery


Pho is considered a national dish for the Vietnamese. To some extent, it is held as a reflection of the heritage and daily life of the people of Vietnam.

In layman’s terms, pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup that is traditionally made with chicken or beef broth, spiced with various flavors and topped with different herbs. Because of its complex flavors and deceptive simplicity, pho captured the attention of many people in the West when it was brought over via Vietnamese immigration.

Events such as the unification of Vietnam under the French rule and others also delineate the history of pho; what follows is an exploration of this most beloved of Vietnamese dishes. Many culinary experts in Vietnam have taken it as their responsibility to protect pho and maintain its integrity and traditional identity. Although pho by nature is a versatile and easily adaptable dish, there is some pushback as to what should actually be categorized as pho and what deviates too far from the original to be considered as such.

For example, many pho connoisseurs have taken to experimenting with ingredients including pork and seafood in their pho recipes in lieu of the more typical beef or chicken. In some places, these versions are referred to as “hu tieu”, a decision that depends on the degree of pho variations that appear locally. It is important to note that because of the appeal and its distinctly layered flavors, pho has captured the attention, fascination and interest of people from all over the world.

While you might have to eat in a local pho shop in Vietnam to attain the most authentic experience, at least you can rest easy knowing that no matter where you are in the world, you can probably find a piping hot bowl of meat broth and noodles that has a history as rich as its taste.

(From the Internet)