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Matters of taste

The staple breakfast for the Vietnamese is noodle soup, or pho. But it's made from rice flour, and the recent price hikes are hitting the poor. Plus, Hanoi's fusion food hero

By Alex Renton   August 2008

Pho and the price of rice

Breakfast in Hanoi is best eaten on the pavement. Around five o’clock every morning, the sellers of pho (to pronounce it, say “fur” gently), Vietnam’s noodle soup, trundle their stalls by bicycle or moped through the waking streets. Usually middle-aged women, they set up on corners or in front of office doors. There they unload their fresh rice noodles, bundles of garlic greens, mint and bean sprouts, mounds of finely sliced beef or chicken, and the vat of stock—the secret of a great pho—straw gold, delicate, flavoured perhaps with star anise and cinnamon and…

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