Flavourful history of traditional Vietnamese soup dish pho

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Pho is a delicious rice noodle soup that is touted as the national dish of Vietnam. Though a bowl of pho looks pretty simple, it is loaded with complex layers of flavours. A kind of herbal fennel is the main ingredient in this dish. Shallots, onion, ginger and cardamom give exciting flavours to pho. Beef, too, is added into the broth to make it more flavoursome. The broth is usually boiled for at least 8-14 hours. The meat and the bones cook well and add oodles of flavour to the broth.

Pho is enjoyed as a noodle soup that is a complete meal. You could even add a dash of your favourite sauces for that extra kick. During the Second World War and the Vietnam War of 1975, pho was served for the Vietnamese soldiers who were stationed at various parts of the country. Though extremely popular, there have been disputes about the origins of the dish. In 2002, the European Commission had had held a meeting in Hanoi to determine the origin of pho. However, no decisions came out of that high profile meeting.

The popular belief is that pho originated in North Vietnam which had been under the Chinese rule for centuries. Experts even point out the resemblance of the noodles that are added in pho to the traditional rice noodles of China. Similarly, many ingredients of the Chinese noodle dishes can be found in pho as well. However, you would have to visit Vietnam to taste the delicious pho in its most authentic form.

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