How many times have you slurped those delicious noodles at the dinner table, only to be stared down by fellow diners? While it may be considered ‘rude’ to eat in this way by those living in the west, it’s quite the opposite in Japan.
Slurping your bowl of noodles upon Japanese soil is a compliment to the chef, showing your appreciation of the food. Feel free to use this trump card when next out for dinner with your other half.
Noodles made it to space
Japanese astronaut Soichi Noguchi ventured off for another space mission in 2005. On board, he had some specially made instant noodles courtesy of Nissin Foods. That may not sound like much, but a fantastic amount of effort went into developing ‘space noodles’.
The foodstuffs had to keep composure in a zero-gravity atmosphere, while cooking with water of precisely 70 degrees. Finally, the strands had to be specially designed to retain a ball-shape so that Mr.Noguchi could eat them when living beyond the earth’s exosphere. Of course, you can also get pizza delivery in space.
Just as any cultural phenomenon enjoys, noodles boast of a dedicated museum. You can find the special establishment in the Osaka area of Japan, with the Cup Noodles museum showcasing the history of the food and allowing visitors to try all kinds of dishes.
You can partake in cookery classes, learn about the worksheds of the past, and try out more than 4500 different kinds of stringy goodness. The museum has a 4/5 rating on TripAdvisor, so don’t write it off until you give it a try!
Noodles vs. Birthday Cake
The good people of China consider noodles to be a symbol of longevity for the Chinese New year and, according to their culture, also on birthdays. Expect noodles on your big day instead of a birthday cake.
Guinness World Record
The world’s longest noodle was more than 3km long. It took participants over 17 hours to roll this enormous strand out, using an incredible 40kg bread flour, 26.8 litres of water, and 0.6 kg of salt in the process. It took adjudicators three hours to check that the noodle was unbroken.
Everyday Food Hero
Over 280 million portions of instant noodles are consumed every day worldwide, according to the World Instant Noodles Association. The top 3 consumers are Korea, Vietnam, and Nepal.
How to celebrate
Have a bowl of your favorite noodles and use #NationalNoodleDay to post on social media.
Try dry or sweet
Instant noodles served the way the packet suggests is old news. But have you ever eaten them raw? In some parts of Asia its common to eat them as a crunchy snack.
Or why not try what is popular in Thailand? A dessert dish called Salim will properly tangle with your tastebuds. The dessert is created from multi-colored mung bean flour noodles, served with sweet coconut milk syrup, and served over crushed ice.