Children and locals in Vietnam's Central Highlands will find solace in steaming bowls of pho in the cold weather and participate in a variety of pho-based activities through a meaningful program to mark the Day of Pho (December 12) this weekend.
Pho, one of Vietnam’s most well-known dishes, consists of fresh rice noodles with broth and beef or chicken.
The ‘Pho for Mountainous Children 2023’ initiative – an event meant to delight children in Vietnam’s Central Highlands region with a slew of pho-centric activities, will take place in Da Lat City, a popular tourist site in Lam Dong Province, on Saturday and Sunday.
The Day of Pho is an annual event initiated in 2017 by Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper.
It went international for the first time via the Vietnam Phở Festival 2023 in Tokyo, Japan on October 7 and 8.
Through the initiative, locals in Lam Dong will be able to participate in a pho-cooking class, rice noodle-making activities, a game show, and a zero-dong market, while immersing themselves in art performances.
The event will also feature a ceremony to award scholarships to outstanding students from low-income families.
At the event, attendees will have the opportunity to savor hot bowls of pho cooked by renowned chefs and winners of the ‘Hoa Hoi Vang’ (Golden Star Anise) award.
The 'Hoa Hoi Vang' award is granted each year during the Day of Pho edition to honor pho chefs from across Vietnam.
Winner of the ‘Hoa Hoi Vang’ award Nguyen Tu Tin, co-founder of the Pho’S brand, told Tuoi Tre that three other winners will attend ‘Pho for Mountainous Children 2023’ as well.
Tin added that to prepare for the event, 30 kilograms of beef bone, 40 kilograms of local grass-fed beef, fresh rice noodles, and ginseng are being transported to Da Lat City from nearby Kon Tum Province, where he will be participating in another food-based function in the days prior to ‘Pho for Mountainous Children 2023.’
|Privileged students in Thieng Lieng Island Hamlet, Can Gio District, Ho Chi Minh City are presented with scholarships at an event on the ‘Day of Pho.’ Photo: Duyen Phan / Tuoi Tre
Cao Van Luan, the owner of a pho eatery in Australia, and his culinary apprentice will provide the program with 1,000 bowls of pho using beef imported from that country.
“I am eagerly awaiting the event so that I can bring 1,000 bowls of pho to children and locals in Da Lat,” Luan shared, adding that he hopes to spread Vietnamese pho culture through his international cooking style.
“Da Lat has a diverse culinary culture because the city is home to people from various regions [across Vietnam]," Luan said.
"Pho boast a rich diversity of regional styles.
"Each pho brand features a different taste. My international cooking style brings an exotic flavor to eaters.
“I cook the broth for pho with fruits such as apple, coconut, and pineapple to whet eaters’ appetite."
For the past six years, Tuoi Tre has rolled out numerous community-driven initiatives to honor the annual Day of Pho.
These programs have brought the signature noodle dishto children and poor households in Binh Phuoc, Nghe An, and Thanh Hoa Provinces, as well as Ho Chi Minh City.