An article posted on the web said people can argue long into the night about the world’s best soup. Maybe it’s ramen, laksa, bouillabaisse or caldo verde or even Moroccan bessara. What people can’t argue, however, is that Vietnam’s most famous soup, the pho, is in the conversation.

It affirmed pho is a fragrant, subtly powerful dish that’s even greater than the sum of its considerable parts. Its broth is a gently simmered stock of beef bones with onion, ginger and spices; it arrives pooled around banh pho, or flat rice noodles, and rare beef slices, topped with bean sprouts, fresh herbs, lemon and chilli. The aroma is transcendent. The taste is perfection.

Pho was developed in the north of the country during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The pho obsession spread to the south in the 1950s, when the country was divided and millions of north Vietnamese brought their soup recipe with them to the south.

December 12 has been marked as the Day of Pho in celebration of the nation’s most well-known dish.

Earlier, the prestige food website TasteAltas included pho among the world’s 100 most popular dishes.