If there’s one thing that the Vietnamese eat a tonne of, it’s pho. But on the 21st July 2018, quite literally over a tonne of steaming hot beef soup was served in a colossal public cooking event in order to break the Guinness World Record for the largest bowl of instant pho.
The festivity was held to celebrate the 55th anniversary of the Vietnamese instant food company VIFON, and was hosted in Ho Chi Minh along with 31 organisers and a whopping 55 chefs to create the ambitiously large meal. The 1,359kg of noodle soup was cooked in a custom made bowl that was 2.1 metres in diameter and 1.2 metres high and understandably required a mass of ingredients – most of which were VIFON products. Amongst them were 1,200 litres of broth, 1,963 blocks of instant noodles, 100kg of organic beef, 8kg of oil and 20kg of spicy mixed seasoning including salt, sugar, clove, chilli and basil.
After the record was officially set the dish was portioned out into 1,963 individual servings for attending guests, and if you’re thinking that’s a rather specific number of people, it’s because it is. 1963 represents the founding year of the VIFON company, and the hungry participants that tucked into the pho ranged from members of the public, local politicians, and even Vietnam’s very own Miss Universe. After being served the beef noodle soup, guests could add fresh chilli, Vietnamese herbs and beansprouts to their bowls.
Over the past 55 years, the VIFON food company has been a popular brand for consumers in not just Vietnam, but also around the world. Their portfolio consists of of instant pho, crab soup and hu tieu (southern-style rice noodles).
The company stated that organising the record-breaking event was also an effort to popularise the famous Vietnamese dish amongst international waters – and if making a gigantic bowl of the stuff isn’t a way to garner attention, I’m not sure what else would.