For Pho's Sake: What It's All About
10 Apr 2016
Chances are you've probably mispronounced "Pho" just as many times as you've eaten this delicious noodle soup and now that we mentioned the eating part, where do you begin? Don't sweat it. Here, your fast guide for how to handle this Vietnamese cuisine like a (sort of) pro.
How do you say it?
Like the words 'acai' and 'quinoa', pho is one of the most mispronounced words there is, so before you get yourself into a meaningless argument about a friend of friend who told you this and that, get the facts right first. According to The Huffington Post, pho is correctly said as 'fuh'. Yes that's right, not 'few', 'faux' or 'fee-fi-fo-fum'...it's simply 'fuh'. You can actually learn how to say it here.
What is Pho?
If you haven't already eaten this chunk of delight before, Pho is basically a noodle soup, originating from Vietnam, which contains a whole lot of long, flat rice noodles alongside some herbs and your main choice of either beef or chicken broth. The beef broth is called pho bo, while the chicken broth is pho ga, but if you're in Vietnam - requesting pho will suffice as the beef version. Pho means noodles, but due to popular demand, the term has grown to refer to this Vietnamese dish as a whole. But beware, this is not a meal for the light-hearted, it's packed with carbs and protein so it is pretty heavy...just make sure you bring your appetite!
When is it eaten?
Well, now that depends on how hungry you are. The awesome part about Pho is that you can eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. In Vietnam, it's common to see people eating Pho outside of their house and at the markets, while in Australia, you'll also find many Vietnamese restaurants which offer the perfect meal for your lunch break or dinner with loved ones.
How to eat it?
There's actually Pho etiquette but when it comes to getting down to business and fast, the main thing you need to know is how to handle it when your bowl is served. If you're right handed, you'll hold a pair of chopsticks with your right hand and a soup spoon in the other. Before you dig in, you need to sample the broth first. So, lift your spoon and have a small taste; this will indicate if you need to add sauces into the mix. Then after that one riveting taste leaves you desperate to dig in, you may begin. After you've finished your noodles, which you'll most probably finish first, don't fear as you put down your chopsticks and spoon, and then lift the bowl to your lips for both its sweet-smelling aroma and to conclude your meal in true pho form.