Teaching myself to cook Vietnamese food via recipe books without my Vietnamese grandmother scolding me, for under seasoning the Pho, leaves me with a sense of loss. I do not normally dwell on irrational romantic imaginings, as it's quite possible my dear Vietnamese grandmother could have been a tyrant! However, there has been a certain amount of frustration and self doubt about my ability to cook Vietnamese food, and it has crossed my mind that I feel somewhat a 'fake'. I ask myself, is it really Vietnamese food if these dishes have not been handed down through my ancestors and whispered to me over a clay pot?
So, I can only shake off regret, self doubt and nostalgic daydreams and return to being pragmatic. I rely on my palate, which I know to be a good one when sampling the delights of Vietnamese food. I therefore come to the practical conclusion that even though my ancestors did not share their secret recipes, they have shared their genes with me, therefore my palate.
|Pho Bo - Beef Noodle Soup|