If you're unfamiliar with the treasure that is pho, then boy, you're in for a treat. If you are familiar with and enjoy this noodle soup, then you know that it's a comforting, customizable dish, served with rice noodles, (optional) meat, vegetables, and steaming hot broth. However, even pho aficianados might not know that there are a few rules one should observe when enjoying this dish. First and foremost, there is the matter of etiquette: When eating pho, be mindful of how you're using your chopsticks. Whatever you do, don't leave them poking out of your bowl like a couple of sticks of incense.
Leaving your chopsticks in the bowl is simply bad form. It shows your dinner guests and other folks at the restaurant that you're either clueless or just rude. Some people even find this behavior downright offensive, as in Vietnam and other cultures it's a traditional funeral practice to leave a bowl of rice for the deceased with a pair of chopsticks stuck vertically into the rice.
Other Tips For Good Pho Etiquette
When you're eating pho and your chopsticks are not in use, simply lay them on the table on a napkin. If you have a clean plate available, feel free to place the chopsticks on the plate to keep them clean. Because pho is typically served with a spoon and a pair of chopsticks, it's important to hold both correctly and use them properly to ensure you won't look silly next time you're enjoying a bowl. For most people, that means you'll hold the chopsticks in your right hand and the spoon in your left. The chopsticks are used for raising solid food like noodles and meat to your mouth. The spoon is used exclusively for sipping broth.
And before using wood chopsticks, you may want to rub them together to remove any splinters. However, it's a little graceless to do this obviously. So, if you must, try to make this move less obvious.
While eating pho, spoon broth from the side of the bowl instead of the center. While you're at it, try not to take the bowl off the table. However, when finishing the last bits feel free to throw back every last bit of the tasty broth, just as you would with milk in a bowl of cereal. Keeping the bowl on the table during the bulk of the meal will help the pho stay hot. However, good pho isn't something to waste, so feel free to drink to the last drop.
Finishing The Bowl Of Pho
When you're finished with your pho, the safest bet is to place your chopsticks along the bowl or on a plate. Also, be sure to never stab your food with your chopsticks. If you're a literal child people will probably let it slide, but it's almost grotesque for anyone else.
Now, one more lingering question: to slurp or not to slurp? We know that many of you are thinking this is an emphatic no. Well, it is and it isn't. In some Asian cultures, it's actually considered polite to slurp because it lets your host know that you're enjoying the meal
However, this isn't quite the case with pho. Pho is a noodle soup, so there's simply going to be some slurping as you consume the noodles. Unless your dining guests have an aversion to the sound, a little slurping is okay. Just remember to keep it to a minimum when enjoying pho.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.