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CNN: Vietnam’s pho, fresh rolls among world’s best dishes

By Nguyen Quy   October 10, 2019 | 01:25 am PT
CNN has named Vietnam’s pho noodle soup and fresh summer rolls among the world’s 50 best dishes.

Pho, which is 28th on the list, is a bowl of flat, soft rice noodles dipped in a fragrant beef or chicken broth flavored with condiments. It is served with beef or chicken, shallots and chili and lemon to taste.

The soup is considered a national dish and can be found all over the country though it originated in Hanoi before being taken to the south, where people have added their own influences to the dish.

A bowl of pho in Saigon. Photo by VnExpress/Phong Vinh.

A bowl of pho in Saigon. Photo by VnExpress/Phong Vinh.

"But it's greater than the sum of its parts - fragrant, tasty and balanced," CNN said.

Pho has been getting rave review from global travel magazines for decades now, and no visitor to Vietnam fails to mention it. Last year Lonely Planet recommended it as one of the best hangover cures on the road. The U.K.-based travel site Rough Guides also named the soup among the world’s 15 best foods that are easy on the pocket.

Fresh summer rolls served at a market in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Ma Lum.

Fresh summer rolls served at a market in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by VnExpress/Ma Lum.

Goi cuon, or fresh summer rolls, are a popular snack in the south. Rice paper is wrapped around pork, shrimp, herbs, and rice vermicelli, and it is best eaten dunked in sweet and sour fish sauce or a thick peanut dip.

"Dipped in a slightly sweet Vietnamese sauce laced with ground peanuts, it's wholesome, easy and the very definition of ‘moreish’," CNN said.

The CNN top 50, originally published in 2011, is dominated by Asian dishes, but also features lasagna and pizza from Italy, fajitas and tacos from Mexico, croissant from France, and hamburgers from Germany.

Some of the tastiest dishes in Southeast Asia are massaman curry, which tops the list, and tom yum goong from Thailand, spicy-sour fish broth with noodles from Malaysia and rendang from Indonesia.

Vietnamese ranked among the world’s 15 favorite cuisines in a survey released earlier this year by YouGov, a British online market research company.

Some of the dishes found on street corners in the country have achieved fame and a presence in all corners of the world, like banh mi, the sandwich which has been listed among the top 20 street foods in the world by U.S. site Fodor’s Travel.

Earlier this year, CNN made five recommendations for a food tour in Hanoi to foreign tourists and international reporters covering the Trump-Kim summit where the U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un found ways to advance peace on the Korean peninsula.

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