These How-To Faux Phở videos have to stop
Update: And just like that, the video was taken down. Gee, I wonder why?
I really don’t know where to begin. After the backlash from that white dude dictating “how to properly eat your Phở, or that tutorial on how to make a version in a mason jar for the busy commuter, aren’t these folks even aware on how seriously people, especially Vietnamese people, identify with the Phở as a cultural marker? The now-defunct Lucky Peach even devoted an entire issue on the history of Phở.
This “we don’t give a fuck” version of Phở from supermarket H-E-B is all things wrong. I just don’t get it. Canned chicken broth? Mirin? Pork?!? Not to keep score, but why is Phở constantly culturally appropriated and misrepresented but yet ramen doesn’t get the same treatment? Simply atrocious….
Look, I get what H-E-B is trying to do and make a quick no frills version for non-Vietnamese. It’s admirable and shows that Viet cuisine has entered the zeitgeist. But. there’s a process. You can’t just make some shit up and call it Phở. It’s not a casserole.
Instead, do what Honey Suckle posted a few months ago. A tutorial on no-frills versions of beef, chicken and vegetarian. She also prefaces it that this is not the proper way to make it, because it takes hours to do so, but this is a nice alternative, especially if you want to make some quick after a hard day’s work. Oh, and she explains from a point of reference, being that she’s Vietnamese and all. It shouldn’t matter, but it’s surely a nice imprimatur.
So, please white people, to paraphrase Susan Powter: