Pho (pronounced fuh), Hanoi's signature beef broth scented with ginger and anise, is one of the world's great culinary glories. Turns out it's not an ancient dish, but a 1950s-era syncretic product of the French occupation of Vietnam, which introduced the notion of boiling beef in a pot au feu (which may be the origin of the name). The heady, fragrant noodle soup is a global hit, prompting an international pho conference, several good blogs, and a sensual national obsession: "When Vietnamese talk of pho they think of sex: 'We say that rice is a spouse, whereas pho is a lover.' " "Pho is life, love and all things that matter." Tips on eating and cooking pho - recipes and more inside.