I'm not going to bore anyone with another childhood anecdote of how the pho I grew up on that my classmates didn't know anything about has now turned into another hipster phenomenon (it stings). Instead, I've created a guide with some steps on how to enjoy pho if you're not Vietnamese, without disrespecting the delicious broth and noodles that America has gradually come to love. 

1. Learn How To Pronounce It 

It takes a 5-second Google search to discover that phở is pronounced "fuh", with the "uh" sound elongated like a question, not "foe", like fee-fie-foe-fum. 

2. If It's Vegan Or Vegetarian, Don't Call It Pho

All the power to the vegan/vegetarian lifestyle, but the word "phở" is thought to be derived from a French word meaning "bone broth". If the broth hasn't been simmered for 6+ hours with bones and love, it's not pho, it's fake. 

3. Add The Herbs 

If you're not adding fistfuls of bean sprouts and mint, you're doing it wrong. Vietnamese palates are well-balanced, and the fresh herbs add incomparable flavor to the broth. Try shredding the mint in small pieces to make them bite-sized if you're unfamiliar with the flavor. 

4. Stop Eating it Cold 

Pho is comfort food, like grandma's chicken noodle soup. Once the soup loses its heat, it's no longer comforting — it's disastrous. Rather than waiting 10+ minutes for the broth to cool down, try sipping on it to build up your heat tolerance. 

5. Support Local Phở Restaurants 

Support the local Vietnamese moms, dads, grandmas, and grandpas still toasting the cinnamon, broiling the onions, and firing up the back burner. If you can't pronounce the name of the restaurant or it's named something like "Phở 99", it's legit. 

Phở Deserves Some TLC 

Okay I lied — maybe I really would like to provide another anecdote of how pho has left my dad's warm kitchen and entered into the sometimes questionable mainstream food culture. Maybe it's selfish, but I feel that the cultural aspect of pho that's directly tied to the Vietnamese people and their customs — the time, effort, and genuine love they put into such a traditional, family-bonding dish — should reverberate in each sip of pho broth a person takes. Let's all do pho a favor by enjoying it, but also showing it the love, respect, and dignity it deserves.