I contacted various family members who I think are “pho makers.” I know my oldest aunt has been making pho regularly for my other aunts in town because they all live in a small town in the Midwest without access to Vietnamese restaurants or many ethnic restaurants for that matter. I believe the only Mexican restaurant used to be Chi-chi’s but since they closed in the early 90’s, I think Taco Bell is the only choice for Mexican food. I’m sure many of you who cook have gone through this process with obtaining a recipe from your mom or aunt or grandmother – “just put in a little bit of XXX and about two pinches of YYY, etc…”. I have another aunt who lives in the same town so I asked her to speak to my Oldest Aunt to get her recipe. When she emailed it to me, it was just a list of ingredients without any measurements. While I wasn’t surprised I was kind of hoping to get a glimpse of how much she put of each of the spices. She did however, include an ingredient that I have not come across from any pho recipes online: tangerine peel. I guess that is her secret so I will have to try that at some point. I won’t be posting her recipe since I’m not sure the exact amount of the ingredients but will post the results of the next batch of pho I make with tangerine peel.