Google Doodle celebrates Vietnamese soup pho

Born out of cultural mashup more than a century ago, the savory soup is now a national culinary treasure.

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Steven Musil is the night news editor at CNET News. He's been hooked on tech since learning BASIC in the late '70s. When not cleaning up after his daughter and son, Steven can be found pedaling around the San Francisco Bay Area. Before joining CNET in 2000, Steven spent 10 years at various Bay Area newspapers.
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Pho consists of noodles, meat and herbs.


Google on Sunday is celebrating pho, the aromatic and savory soup made popular in Vietnam.

Consisting of broth, rice noodles, herbs and thinly sliced meat, the healthy and comforting soup is served all over Vietnam and is considered the country's national dish.

On this day in 2018, Vietnam officially selected Dec. 12 as the annual "day of pho," and Google is marking the occasion in some parts of the world with an animated Doodle depicting the preparation of the delicious dish.

Its origins are uncertain, but many believe the delicious dish was born of cultural interaction near Hanoi, in northern Vietnam, in the late 19th century. The name may be derived from "pot au feu" (a French soup) or phấn, the Vietnamese pronunciation of fěn (a Chinese term for flat noodle). Either way the French, who officially occupied Vietnam from the 1880s to 1954, popularized the eating of red meat, while noodles and spices imported from China helped complete the culinary treasure.

Originally served by itinerant street vendors lugging around portable kitchens, pho is now served in street stalls, restaurants and homes around the country, with its popularity growing around the world thanks to refugees in the aftermath of the Vietnam war.

This isn't the first time Google has put food in the Doodle spotlight. In 2017, Google cooked up a slideshow to honor the rice noodle, and in 2019, it created an animated Doodle featuring falafel.

But if you would rather play with your food than read about it, Google baked up an interactive pizza puzzle game that challenges your slicing skills.

Our Favorite Google Doodles Through the Years

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