Phở beats the devil out of a bowl of Wheaties; this is the breakfast of champions

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I tell Josh I am thinking of moving to Da Nang. I need to be near phở.

I ask the young woman who brings us refills on the coffee what this wonderful soup is called, feeling like a person from San Antonio walking into a New York deli and asking what a bagel is. She opens her mouth and puffs at me. I can’t tell if it’s a word or an expression of Vietnamese disgust at American ignorance.

“Pardon me?” I say.

She puffs at me again. Actually it’s not so much a puff as a fuff. Maybe a fuh.

“Fuh,” she says once more, as if to an especially slow child.

I try it.

Fuh?

“Fuh.”

Later I learn what I am eating is called phở, pronounced “fuh.” It is the national breakfast dish of Vietnam. Later I seek out and find phở in all American cities in which Vietnamese have settled, including an outstanding phở parlor in Austin where cowboy/trucker/good ole boys in gimme caps and Stetsons line up at opening time. Later I even learn how to make phở, but at this moment all I know is that phở beats the devil out of a bowl of Wheaties; this is the breakfast of champions. We finish, pay up, and leave. I tell Josh I am thinking of moving to Da Nang. I need to be near phở.

from Take Big Bites: Adventures Around the World and Across the Table
by Linda Ellerbee
Image – Joshua Rappeneker

Award-winning Journalist, Mother, Survivor, and Then More

Linda Ellerbee was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1992. After her double mastectomy she went on to publish several books, including three spirited memoirs and an eight volume “Girl Reporter” series for young readers. She also writes a syndicated newspaper column and works as a keynote speaker.

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2 Responses to “Phở beats the devil out of a bowl of Wheaties; this is the breakfast of champions”

  1. Kathy Says:

    God I’ve loved her forever, she was on a network at night years ago, what a great voice and advocate

  2. Elizabeth Able Says:

    Thank you!

    One of the marvelous things about QuoteSnack is the life-expanding effect of tracking down and excerpting something that I think is interesting, every single day. Focusing on 30 days of cancer survivors has been an extra challenge, significantly narrowing the field, while requiring more of a look at an author’s background. It’s been good.

    Every few days I uncover or newly-learn something that makes my life a little broader, deeper, softer, and brighter. As readership here gradually increases, I like to think that it’s because this project is having the same effect on some of you.

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