American vs. Vietnamese pho differs in more than just ingredients

A staff member serving Pho to customers at Pho 79 restaurant. (Photo: Thien Le/Nguoi-Viet).

Titi Mary Tran/ Nguoi-Viet English

Pho.

The comforting Vietnamese beef noodle soup that I look for when I’m sick. The best cure for a sore throat during the cold winter. A nutritious bowl of clear, aromatic and herbal broth that heals my ailing body and soul without failing every time.

Who makes the best pho always is a great debate among Vietnamese foodies. People tend to agree to disagree that Mom-made homemade pho is the best, but the addition of the soup from the Pho 79 restaurant in Garden Grove, Calif., to the James Beard America’s Classics list has kicked the pho debate to the national level.

The James Beard Foundation receives tens of thousands of submissions for award consideration every year. Anyone may submit a chef or restaurant for consideration during an open call. Pho 79, located at 9941 Hazard Ave. in Garden Grove, was recognized for its contributions to the country’s dining environment.

The restaurant opened in 1982.

Pho 79 restaurant on corner of Brookhust and Hazard Street of Westminster city was added to the James Beard list of American’s Classics. (Photo: Thien Le/ Nguoi-Viet)

For many Americans, pho became a popular food choice after several waves of Vietnamese refugees and immigrants brought the dish to the country. The Vietnamese, as with most refugees and immigrants, leveraged their unique cuisine with American ingredients for their survival.

Though the herbs and spices that go into pho – star anise, cinnamon, fennel seeds, clove, coriander seeds and such – are imported from around the world, the main ingredient – beef – is local.

In short, pho is now an American dish, like that of hamburgers and steak, as implied by the James Beard America’s Classics.

An image of Pho bowl. This is a vegetarian Pho. (Photo: Titi Mary Tran)

For Vietnamese Americans, pho — “the American dish” — is from the original. Pho’s ambiguous origin from somewhere in Nam Dinh, Vietnam, that combined the French way of simmering broth with Vietnam’s rice noodle, has been redefined and re-established in the United States.

This story of Vietnamese pho, unfortunately, carries the blood and tears of a war-torn country.

I taste the struggles of my people in pho. The Vietnamese history is instilled in me, one scoop of broth at a time.

So who makes the best pho is still up for debate. No matter the recipe, pho in Vietnam is different from pho in Little Saigon, for its truth is not the same.

Video: Tin Trong Ngày Mới Cập Nhật

Copyright © 2018, Người Việt Daily News

Lưu ý: Để mở âm thanh, xin bấm vào nút muted icon imagephía góc phải bên dưới của khung video.

Báo Người Việt hoan nghênh quý vị độc giả đóng góp và trao đổi ý kiến. Chúng tôi xin quý vị theo một số quy tắc sau đây:

Tôn trọng sự thật.
Tôn trọng các quan điểm bất đồng.
Dùng ngôn ngữ lễ độ, tương kính.
Không cổ võ độc tài phản dân chủ.
Không cổ động bạo lực và óc kỳ thị.
Không vi phạm đời tư, không mạ lỵ cá nhân cũng như tập thể.

Tòa soạn sẽ từ chối đăng tải các ý kiến không theo những quy tắc trên.

Xin quý vị dùng chữ Việt có đánh dấu đầy đủ. Những thư viết không dấu có thể bị từ chối vì dễ gây hiểu lầm cho người đọc. Tòa soạn có thể hiệu đính lời văn nhưng không thay đổi ý kiến của độc giả, và sẽ không đăng các bức thư chỉ lập lại ý kiến đã nhiều người viết. Việc đăng tải các bức thư không có nghĩa báo Người Việt đồng ý với tác giả.

Southern California meadows welcome spring with fields of golden poppies

Titi Mary Tran/Nguoi-Viet English LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (NV) – Everyone’s mood was elevated, as if they had just taken some golden medicine for their souls. Countless visitors flocked to Walker Canyon near Lake Elsinore in Southern California one March weekend...

Lessons from Vietnam make culture come alive for Vietnamese American student at Cornelia Connelly high

Students at Cornelia Connelly School, a Catholic college-preparatory high school for girls in Anaheim, are encouraged to do community service as part of their graduation requirements and it sparks a lifelong passion for serving.

It looks like beef and tastes like beef, but it isn’t beef

Impossible Foods, a company that uses plant-based ingredients to make food that looks and tastes like meat, debuted its “Impossible Burger” during the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show here last month.

Welcome, Year of the Pig!

30 Tet 2019

Tet 2019 in Little Saigon, Year of the Pig

It's that time of year when the Lunar calendar pushes aside the Gregorian calendar and brings about a celebration of fresh flowers, tropical fruits, colorful trinkets, lion dances, and a plethora of food and fortune greetings to mark the occasion.

CES 2019 highlights: Flying car, Wall TV, roll-up TV screens, 5G, blockchain technology and AI

If Disneyland is the place where dreams come true for children, the Consumer Electronics Show is the space where adults make their dreams a reality.

Little Saigon: Asian-Americans protest Trump administration’s push to deport Vietnamese war refugees

Nearly 200 Asian-Americans gathered in Little Saigon on Saturday to protest the Trump administration’s efforts to deport protected Vietnamese immigrants, many of whom have lived in the United States since fleeing their home country during the Vietnam War.

One night in the ‘haunted house,’ the Buddha statue and the ‘hidden treasure

Ngọc Lan & Ðằng-Giao/Người Việt Translation: Titi Mary Tran Editor’s note: Nguoi Viet News reporters Ngoc Lan and Đằng Giao set out to answer the questions regarding the property, and the house, at the corner of Euclid Street and Hazard Avenue...

To tell the truth: Đằng was scared

Ngọc Lan & Ðằng-Giao/Người Việt Translation: Titi Mary Tran Editor’s note: Nguoi Viet News reporters Ngoc Lan and Đằng Giao set out to answer the questions regarding the property, and the house, at the corner of Euclid Street and Hazard Avenue...

Entering the ‘haunted house’ in Little Saigon for the first time

Ngọc Lan & Ðằng Giao/Người Việt Translation: Titi Mary Tran Editor’s note: Nguoi Viet News reporters Ngoc Lan and Đằng Giao set out to answer the questions regarding the property, and the house, at the corner of Euclid Street and Hazard...