This project made me more interested about history than anything. I learned how food can change and evolve throughout time. For this project, I was inspired by an Instant Pho noodle at Safeway, since ramen is mainstream for instant noodles and not Pho. Through my research in history, I found that Pho was most likely influenced by the French. When the French colonized Vietnam, they brought their food influence and Romanization of the Vietnamese language which consisted of Chinese characters before. Vietnamese were possibly introduced to French Cuisine which influenced the creation of Pho. The French have a soup called “Pot au feu.” The name “Pho” was most likely taken from the French soup name. They are both also cooked in similar ways. They both create broth for at least three hours or more with meat.
It was also even more interesting to find out the current culture surrounding Pho. The people of North Vietnam only like the original Pho, the one with beef broth, beef slices with beansprouts for topping. If they are shown any other variation, they will not call it Pho, and may even not accept it. The reason for the various types of soups derived from Pho was because of the refugees during the Vietnam War. They escaped the North side and brought their recipes down to the South. The south is rich in food so various Pho’s were made.
I thought this was really cool, and it made me consider the history of my own cultures food. How did it come to be? Did politics or some other human systematic agendas affect it? Was it considered a work of gourmet art from the beginning? This project made me realize how food is a big part of our cultures, and research it is a great way to know more about ourselves.