The event, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper, drew a crowd of nearly 100 individuals, which included diplomats, politicians, and representatives from international organizations and foreign news agencies.

The gala was organized for the first time as part of the annual ‘Day of Pho’ event, which has been celebrated on December 12th every year since 2017.

Attendees were cordially invited to indulge in an array of diverse pho dishes and partake in engaging storytelling sessions. These experiences offered a unique opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of pho, widely regarded as the epitome of Vietnamese gastronomy.

I have a strong affection for the Vietnamese dish called “pho.”

At the conclusion of the gala dinner, participants and international friends exclaimed in unison, “I have a strong affection for pho.” Their excitement stemmed from the diverse range of emotions evoked by the exceptional bowls of pho and captivating narratives surrounding Vietnamese cuisine.

“Pho is an incredibly delicious dish,” remarked Furudate Seiki, the first secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Hanoi, as he savored five bowls of the renowned pho during the gala event.

Pho is highly regarded as the quintessential dish of Vietnamese cuisine among Japanese people, as cited by Seiki. The noodle soup enjoys immense popularity and appreciation in Japan, to the extent that numerous pho restaurants have been established there.

Vahram Kazhoyan, Armenia's ambassador to Vietnam, and his wife taste pho served in a stone bowl at the gala dinner of this year’s ‘Day of Pho’ event in Hanoi, December 10, 2020. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

Vahram Kazhoyan, Armenia’s ambassador to Vietnam, and his spouse taste pho served in a stone bowl at the gala dinner of this year’s ‘Day of Pho’ event in Hanoi, December 10, 2020. Photo: Nam Tran / Tuoi Tre

In 2019, Pho Thin, a popular Vietnamese restaurant, opened its first branch in Tokyo. Since then, the restaurant has enjoyed great success, with long queues of eager diners eagerly waiting to sample their delicious food.

The organizer strongly anticipates the organization of future events such as ‘Day of Pho‘ to further promote Vietnamese cuisine and other products derived from Vietnamese rice.

Yully Yudhantari Saputri, a third secretary at the Embassy of Indonesia in Hanoi, eagerly explored each stall offering the popular Vietnamese dish, pho.

“I have been eagerly anticipating today ever since I learned about the ‘Story of Pho’ gala for diplomatic missions. It is quite rare to attend an event that offers Halal pho, a dish that Muslims can enjoy without any concerns,” Saputri explained.

Pho with thinly sliced beef is a popular dish, but recently I have been introduced to another version of wine sauce pho that is made with a rich soup and beef chunks. I am quite excited to try it out today.

Saadi Salama, the Palestinian Ambassador to Vietnam, expressed his deep admiration for pho. Specifically, he mentioned his preference for chicken pho and shared his knowledge of several renowned pho restaurants in Hanoi.

Salama remarked, “I enjoy consuming pho at least once per week. The dish’s standout feature is its delightful and delicate broth. While chicken pho is easier to prepare than beef pho, the pho noodle strands must adhere to specific criteria in order to create a flawless dish.”

According to Kellee Farmer, Cultural Attaché and Acting Press Attaché of the U.S. Embassy, the gala dinner brought together the most renowned pho restaurants in Hanoi.

“There are numerous pho restaurants located along the alley where I reside. However, to indulge in a diverse range of pho options all in one place presents a distinct and delightful experience,” she remarked.

“Pho is a beloved dish in the United States, but there is nothing quite like experiencing it in its home country. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Vietnam, I invite you to join me for a bowl of pho to truly appreciate the nuances and differences between the pho served in the United States and the authentic pho found in Vietnam.”

Miss Vietnam World 2010 Diem Huong, ambassador of this year’s ‘Day of Pho’ event, tastes a bowl of pho at the ‘Story of Pho’ gala dinner in Hanoi, December 10, 2020. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

Miss Vietnam World 2010 Diem Huong, ambassador of this year’s ‘Day of Pho’ event, tastes a bowl of pho at the ‘Story of Pho’ gala dinner in Hanoi, December 10, 2020. Photo: Nguyen Khanh / Tuoi Tre

A dish that is commonly associated with the Vietnamese nation and its people.

“During his speech at the event, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Nguyen Quoc Dung emphasized the significance of cuisine as a manifestation of a nation’s culture and philosophy. He highlighted how it serves as a guide to the traditions of a country and its people.”

“There are numerous dishes that have become synonymous with their country and people – such as the Japanese delicacy sushi, the spicy curry from India, the classic spaghetti from Italy, or the renowned cheese from France. In Vietnam, few foods are as deeply connected to our identity as pho.”

As time passes, the renowned Vietnamese dish, pho, has made its way across the globe, providing Vietnamese citizens living abroad with a valuable feeling of connection and solidarity with their homeland and fellow countrymen. Considered a symbol of people-to-people diplomacy, pho has acted as a conduit for fostering international friendships and enhancing mutual understanding between Vietnamese expatriates, tourists, and their local acquaintances.

Mr. Dung expressed his approval of Tuoi Tre’s commendable efforts in hosting the annual ‘Day of Pho’ event on December 12 for the past four years. He also commended the successful execution of the inaugural pho-themed gala dinner.

According to Kajiwara Junichi, the general director of Acecook Vietnam JSC, “Pho is a dish that every foreigner must experience when they visit Vietnam.” He believes that the annual ‘Day of Pho’ event will contribute to the growing sense of pride among Vietnamese people towards their national culinary treasure.

Acecook has also played a significant role in promoting this dish with its locally made instant pho, which has been exported to more than 40 countries worldwide.

According to Le The Chu, the chief editor of “Tuoi Tre,” “pho” is a dish that transcends social class, as it is enjoyed by both the affluent and less privileged individuals.

Vietnamese people have a deep affection for pho, indulging in it for every meal of the day. This cherished dish is not only delightful and nutritious but also represents a quintessential aspect of Vietnamese culture, cuisine, and the people.

The annual ‘Day of Pho’ event showcases unique and enlightening perspectives on the renowned Vietnamese dish, Pho. Our objective is to ensure that Pho, whether enjoyed in a restaurant, prepared in a kitchen, or savored in any corner of the world, captures the genuine essence and flavor it is renowned for.

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