#29 Slurping

Posted March 9th, 2008 by Peter · 5 Comments

You always know that you are in the presence of an asian eating soup or ramen noodles when you hear the grotesque and sometimes irritable sound of them slurping. This asian habit is one of the best and worst because of its ambivalent signals. On the non-asian side, it is a great reason to remove the asian from the room by any means necessary. On the asian side, however, it is a way for them to say that:

The Food is Tasty: Yes. When asians eat liquid food, it is always customary for them to slurp to signal the arrival of millions of tiny delectable taste buds. When asians sit at tables, they will have slurping contests. When this occurs, both asians are trying to slurp the loudest in order to show the chef their respects. The winner is awarded a larger rationing of food during the next distribution. Sometimes, this contest gets out of hand as the two competitors will build a rivalry that they will take part in every time they are at the same restaurant or family event.

The Food is Nasty: Asians do not say, “This sucks,” or, “This needs more salt!” They simply won’t do anything at all. When asians do not slurp, the chef knows that something is terribly wrong. Maybe he or she forgot to add that extra leaf of parsley or grain of pepper or sugar. Asians can sometimes anger their chef so much that they will receive momentously “generous” portions of the food they so sorely despise. In that case, asians will slurp to get the chef to stop giving them so much.

You Want to Annoy Your Neighbors: Many Japanese noodle newbies slurp too tightly and create high-pitched sounds that drive dogs insane. “The key is loosen your lips and get a nice wet, juicy sound.” If an asian person realizes that you don’t like them, they will slurp especially loud to annoy you. Asians are non-confrontational in nature, so slurping allows them to get back at someone without actually meaning it.

Now here’s the real reason: “More than tradition, slurping makes the noodles taste better (and in the case of hot noodles, you’re less likely to burn your mouth).” -mechamecha

Gabuchan’s SlurpThis is the most practical reason. Asians know that to get the full flavor of noodles, they must be eaten at their hottest. The intake of air in order to cool the noodles causes them to make the infamous “slurping sound.” It is especially apparent in Japanese culture, where asians want to experience their noodles. “One should use all senses when eating them,” says one of our Japanese members. The slurping sound will then activate your hearing senses, and in turn activate others such as taste, sight, and the inevitable feel of the noodles across your glistening lips (as well as allow you to suck all the MSG off every single strand).

Asians slurp to signal that food is good or not so good. They also slurp to annoy their neighbors and cool their food. Above all, the real truth lies in the cultural and cerebral experience that is eating noodles. That is why, our culturally-deprived readers, Asians Slurp.

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