How to Eat Pho and Finding Your Own Pho - A Primer For First-Time Diners
Karen and Bear: Yes it seems with respect to noodles, pasta, etc. the choices are 1) biting them off or 2) slurping them. So with Karen's dilemma of what to do if biting them off is a no-no, then the remaining choice is slurping, maybe starting with what Bear says, take a couple of strands at a time until you get used to (or comfortable) doing it. But here's another take on this that I will put out there for your consideration:
- The joy of eating noodle and pasta is very much in the eating or slurping of the long strands. The texture, the taste, the feel is incomparable in any other foods that we invented. We all know this. So there really is nothing wrong with biting the banh pho noodle off with each portion that you eat. The only thing is, by the second half of your pho bowl, you will have shorter and shorter banh pho noodles to eat. What you'd end up with are short noodle pieces like what you get from the Campbell Noodle Soup can. I would not want this and think it is not acceptable to most noodle lovers either.
I just read this while eating my first pho ever. I can't believe I didn't try this until now. I am in love. Great site by the way.
@Matt: Thanks for visiting LovingPho.com. Glad you tried pho and loved it. I'm sure it will be one of your favorite comfort foods for the rest of your life!
This is a wonderful site! My boyfriend took me for my first tastes of this wonderful food while i was pregnant with my daughter and wow i found my comfort food! I was very intimidated by the bowl and chopsticks... I'm not a stranger to them but i found myself overwhelmed. He told me to pile the noodles in the spoon then place the meat and vegetables ontop and i found this very awkward. Had he been doing this wrong, haha? He makes pho at home and its very good! Currently i am trying to make Boba tea at home so i can have this wonderful combo whenever i want. 😀
Angelica: The etiquette discussed in this article is based on tradition and what Vietnamese people have found to be best practices for enjoying pho. There is really no other rule about piling on food in your spoon in any way, or any other rules. What you get from others trying to help a newbie are mostly personal preferences, or just what they have learned themselves, rightly or wrongly. So, now that you know pho and love it, just enjoy it the way you want to enjoy it. I wouldn't say your boyfriend does it wrong either. If it works for him then that is fine. I think what he should have done when first introducing pho to you, was to just give you the basics then let you know that you are on your own to explore it and enjoy it your way.
I'm glad he's making pho at home. That's the best way to learn and appreciate it. And I'm sure you'll do fine with your boba tea. It's really simple Angelica. How can anyone mess up making tea, right?
Thanks! I was lucky to have my first bowl of Pho in Vietnam (just recently). It was one of the best dishes I have had while traveling period! http://marriedwithmaps.com/2016/02/03/my-first-bowl-of-vietnamese-pho/
Been enjoying pho this past few weeks. While Pho 79 is hard to get into (long lines and limited parking), I was pleasantly surprised to find their new restaurant, Pho 101 which I ate at today with a friend from Tenn. We had the oxtail as a side with vegetable pho. Too much to eat, but 50% of the customers left with their takeout bags too.
Just found your site. Lots of great info. I might, just might eat like a veteran in a few more months.