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Why the Japanese slurp their noodles

Recently on a variety TV program here in Japan, there was a segment on eating habits of Japanese viewed from a foreigner's perspective. On a "gaijin" panel (with representatives from all the major continents), they all rallied on the question, why do Japanese make so much noise when eating noodles? The Japanese host asked them, "how do you eat Japanese noodles?" In a video demonstration, they were all presented with a bowl of ramen and they all ate it quietly, biting mouthfuls of noodles instead of slurping. This video was presented to random Japanese and "gaijin" on the streets of Tokyo, and of course, the responses were vastly different. The main Japanese comment was, "they don't eat it deliciously" or "it doesn't look delicious the way they eat it." So, maybe it's an emotional connection, was the first conclusion. Sound must convey deliciousness to the Japanese.

One "gaijin" responder mentioned, if someone would just tell me why I should slurp my noodles, I would do it. So back to the panel of gaijin, as they were asked to slurp their noodles, and interestingly, many of them were physically unable to, some coughing as they sucked some soup down their sinuses, or having a clump of noodles stuck in mid-slurp. So, maybe gaijin just aren't very practiced at slurping as it takes a certain skill.

Then the scientific expert was brought in to explain some things. First, "deliciousness" is conveyed by the sound of slurping, and further, slurping does in fact make the noodle taste better. In a graphic, the expert showed how wine connoisseurs gurgle wine, sucking air through their mouths to force air into the nasal passage, allowing the flavors to spread. The concept is the same with slurping noodles. The flavors of the noodles and soup are multiplied when slurping. The gaijin panel as well as the Japanese host and observers had their "aha" moment and the gaijins decided they would practice slurping.

So, the lesson is slurp away. Especially if you want to maximize the deliciousness.

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  1. I asked several Japanese friends this question 25 years ago or so (after seeing Tampopo)...they thought it had something to do with residual cultural memory of hunger in the aftermath of WW II.
    Not sure they would say that today but...

    4 Replies
    1. re: penthouse pup

      I love your answer- i really despise mouth noises while eating, and have been dreading that aspect of dining in Japan (not that I have a trip planned yet). This is the only thing i"ve ever read that validates it. But it needs to stop *laughs to self*

      1. re: EWSflash

        it's like farting. you do it where it is polite. Or you avoid cultural exchange because you can't stand to bend a little.

        1. re: EWSflash

          if you do go to japan, please order your noodles to go? eat in your hotel room, where you won't be insulting/dishonoring the chef, and you can enjoy your food in peace.

        1. re: thew

          lol..what about when eating cold noodle..does slurping warms the cold noodle?

          1. re: Monica

            Same principles apply for cold noodles, like soba or somen. Perhaps even more, since cold noodles don't have the help of steam to work its way into the olfactory receptors. Give slurping a chance if you care about flavor.

          2. re: thew

            I've heard or read the same. Which makes sense, because noodles in hot broth get soggy quickly, so waiting for them to cool is not the best option.

            I'm not a slurper though.Having lived in the US since I was 5, it is etched into my psyche that making noise while eating is rude and detracts from others' enjoyment of the meal (as a result, I tend to agree). I usually blow on the noodles to cool them.

            But I can see how slurping just sounds delicious. (Unlike chewing food with your mouth open. :|)

          3. Haha. I would love to see that show. Myself, I was told by Japanese friends from the very beginning when I went to Japan that it makes them taste better.

            1. The only reason why i wouldn't slurp is because slurping makes noodle and the sauce splash more to my clothes.

              7 Replies
              1. re: Monica

                That just means you need to practice your slurping skills. Or use a bib.

                1. re: E Eto

                  I am all about bibs. I wish they were more fashionable (other than at the crawfish joint).

                  When I worked in an office, on the days we'd go to eat pho, I used to bib myself with a napkin if I was wearing white. Sriracha stains are such a PITA...

                  1. re: inaplasticcup

                    +1- it makes it a real challenge if you're a busty female.

                    1. re: inaplasticcup

                      One of my must-visit places on Tokyo trips is Konaya, for awesome curry udon. They have nice, large paper bibs at every place setting. which really are necessary. Slurp or don't, long thick strands of udon coated with curry sauce will leave their mark.

                    2. re: E Eto

                      haha, I do not wish to practice slurping. I can live without it.

                    3. re: Monica

                      I don't slurp. I always make mess when eating soup noodles or even soba with dipping sauce. Will I make less of a mess if I learn to slurp?

                      BTW, always thought that they slurping had to do with the noodles being too hot (it was postulated to me as a cause for high incidence of esophageal cancer in Japan). No evidence given. And, also had to do with not wanting to cut/bite/break the noodles, which seems to be a fairly universal taboo (in Italy too).

                    4. I'm curious if they slurp their noodles when eating say stir fried noodles along the lines of yakisoba or fresh pasta dishes at an Italian restaurant (or wafu pasta place).

                      In Hong Kong there is a street food the locals call ju cheung fun, which is essentially a thinner tubular version of dim sum cheung fun, but has no meat or condiments inside the steamed rice crepe rollades. The freshly made ones are slippery smooth in texture once mixed with sauces, and while it is considered rude and to be of low class, it is actually best enjoyed if you slurp it (although with all those sauces mixed in it will get messy), as you actually get the mouth feel experience on the way in.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: K K

                        I think the common rule is, when you can slurp, you should slurp, except when common courtesy or local custom suggest otherwise. Since someone brought up the movie Tampopo, there was a great scene with an etiquette instructor teaching a group of young women how to eat pasta at an Italian restaurant. "Eat it quietly... quietly as possible" was her rule. Except there was a "gaijin" at the other end of the restaurant making all kinds of slurping noise, enjoying his pasta. After a brief moment of cognitive dissonance, the young women eschewed the instructor's rule and attacked their noodles with abandon, slurping and enjoying their pasta. I admit, I slurp my pasta with chopsticks when I eat at home. Forks just aren't made for slurping.

                        1. re: E Eto

                          the joke in that scene was the foreigner trying to "fit in" in japan by slurping (as he thought polite in the country he was in). it was a multi-layered joke, actually teasing people who tried too hard to observe "local" customs and as a result did inappropriate things. in any western food restaurant in japan, slurping would be rude.

                      2. Thought it had to do with bad luck if you bite and break the noodle, since the noodle represents long life. Multiplying deliciousness sounds like hogwash to me.

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Leadmine

                          The bad luck thing is probably more Chinese custom than Japanese custom. Never heard of that with biting/breaking noodles in Japan.

                          1. re: Leadmine

                            Option 1: They slurp their noodles because they believe it tastes better that way. Option 2: They do it because they believe it makes them live longer. One of these sounds more like hogwash than the other...

                            1. re: DeppityDawg

                              It's not necessarily a sincere belief that it extends life as much as it is a preservation of the symbolism of long life. A lot of etiquette is rooted in symbolism rather than practicality. :)

                              1. re: inaplasticcup

                                ^ Agreed. And checked my sources and E Eto is right on with the fact that the long life/noodle relation is a Chinese tradition. Good call.

                                1. re: Leadmine

                                  Longevity noodles are a Chinese tradition.

                          2. Perhaps they think it's sexy.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: beevod

                              I've heard stranger things, beevod...

                            2. no, i won't slurp my noodle. i don't know how to and it's not something i want to learn. =p

                              1. Was this an upcoming' COOL JAPAN' episode??

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: arktos

                                  No, it's a show called Takeshino Nippon no Mikata (たけしのニッポンのミカタ), hosted by Beat Takeshi and Taichi Kokubun (of the band Tokio).

                                  1. re: E Eto

                                    I guess you mean the May 6 episode? http://www.tv-tokyo.co.jp/mikata/back... or http://translate.googleusercontent.co...

                                    Is the video of that segment of the episode available somewhere? :-)

                                2. One can reap the benefit of inhaling the aroma and eating at the same time without making the noise actually. The silent slurp. ;)

                                  1. I was the "someone" who mentioned Tampopo...and my response concerned proffered cultural explanations--not that I agreed with them, just relayed them. No one followed up on this--and so, I wonder whether slurping is a distinctive alimentary activity in other cultures that hold hot/cold noodles in high regard: Italy? Malaysia? Singapore? China? USA? Vietnam? We all agree that Japanese etiquette allows for slurping so what about other noodle-happy cultures?

                                    23 Replies
                                    1. re: penthouse pup

                                      Slurping Italian food? Not unless you want your head handed to you.

                                      USA? NO SLURPING. Thank God.

                                      I'd rather eat in another building than listen to mouth noise.

                                      1. re: Jay F

                                        Your response begs the obvious question--why? Why is "mouth noise" in certain parts of the US (or among certain groups in the US) considered uncouth? (The same goes for eating with mouth wide open?) It's a tricky avenue to maneuver...

                                        1. re: penthouse pup

                                          its clearly culturally arbitrary.

                                          1. re: thew

                                            I always enjoy reading your comments (especially since we both share Italian Village lineage) but what does "culturally arbitrary" mean? If you mean that certain cultures do things one way, and others another way in a "arbitrary" manner, I think you're taking the easy way out...(NB-- I don't pretend to have answers, but cultural differences are identifiable and meaningful.)

                                            1. re: penthouse pup

                                              clearly identifiable. sometimes meaningful, often not. but what i meant was that from someone in a culture that defines such sounds as rude, a reaction like Jay f's is understandable - but it isn't some absolute of revulsion like, say coprophagia. A japanese person does not find those sounds so repulsive as to prefer to " eat in another building than listen to mouth noise."

                                              1. re: thew

                                                Don't mean to go on and on--but it's a question worth thinking about (and I wasn't at all denigrating J F--if anything, I have a similar response to the open mouth chawing--it's just an interesting question to ask ourselves why certain culinary behaviors (and preferences) exist and whether there's something we can point to that goes beyond the surface observation...

                                                1. re: penthouse pup

                                                  i did not think you denigrated anyone nor did i intend to - i only used JF as an example (hence the "like") as it was strong and right there..

                                                  why a culture says it does something, and why it actually does it are usually 2 different things - eg the ritual reasoning for rules of kosher vs anthropological reasoning for the rules, etc. or in this thread the claim that it changes the deliciouness vs my possible explanation of temperature control.

                                                  1. re: penthouse pup

                                                    So some cultures think you should fart openly after eating (sign of liking the food).
                                                    Is this knowledge enhanced by an understandingof how much they eat beans?
                                                    probably not, as many cultures that eat beans don't fart openly.

                                                    1. re: Chowrin

                                                      I call "bullshit" on your farting claim. Citations?

                                                      1. re: ricepad

                                                        I've heard it's okay to belch, but never an okay on farting. 2nd on the bs.

                                                        1. re: ricepad

                                                          Martin Luther's remark about this subject is well known.....:-) although it is not polite to do so nowadays.

                                                          1. re: RUK

                                                            and bullshit on their comment about it being okay to burp at the table in the American South. Not true, not ever.

                                                          2. re: Chowrin

                                                            I believe that in the vast realm of human experience, there very well could be a culture (or 2) that thinks farting in public (and even its aftereffects) is good - for whatever reasons they may have.

                                                            Chowrin, would you please tell me where they live and remind me never to travel there?

                                                            1. re: inaplasticcup

                                                              My bloatingly gastrous son would have the opposite opinion of you. I'm getting him a one-way ticket as soon as this knowledge is obtained...

                                                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                Haha. I give him a week before he begs for a bottle of Beano and a return ticket.

                                                  2. re: penthouse pup

                                                    I agree. I hate it when my partner chews with his mouth wide open, but I love it when he slurps his food. To me it conveys that he likes it so much that he's eating it quickly and isn't paying attention to the noise.

                                                    I'd always heard that there's a similar belief in Japan; that slurping your noodles showed the chef that you were enjoying them.

                                                    1. re: penthouse pup

                                                      Why? I just hate the sound of it.

                                                      I encountered it in members of my own race, religion, social class, and part of the US long before I met anyone Asian.

                                                      I have two very good friends who sound like the Simpsons when they eat. They both slurp their coffee and eat with their mouths open. Neither has any respiratory or allergy problems that make them mouth breathers; it just happens while they eat.

                                                      I told one of them about it when he was trying to interest investors in a business deal and was doing lots of dinners and lunches. He said he had no idea. No one had ever told him before, including his parents when he was little (he said he *thought* they ate the same way, but had never actually noticed, or even thought about it). He thanked me for telling him, and it turned out that one of the investors was the next person he ate with.

                                                      Now that I think about it, he was not from the exact same background as I. He was from the South, where his parents owned a farm. I was a suburbanite from the Northeast.

                                                      My other friend is Jewish. I was brought up Catholic. It's hard for me to imagine this makes a difference.

                                                      1. re: Jay F

                                                        it's hard to imagine it makes a difference because we are so immersed in our own cultural mores they seem innate, and not learned.

                                                        1. re: thew

                                                          So you're saying there are "Jewish table manners," "Southern farm boy table manners," and "Irish (and other) Catholic table manners"?

                                                          1. re: Jay F

                                                            we were discussing japanese slurping noodles - so lets stay with that. let me be clear - i fnd nothing wrong with your aversion to the sound, nor do i find anything wrong with the japanese preference for slurping noodles. as i said i only used you as an example because your statement was so strongly worded.

                                                            all i was saying is that the revulsion you feel is not biologically inherent, it is learned behavior.

                                                            but if i must, can i (being jewish it comes naturally) respond to your question with a question - do you believe there is no difference between cultural mores and what is considered polite in a patrician family in charleston, and say a working class jewish family in new york? I'd say they view what is acceptable and what is not differently. Probably less differently than either is from japanese manners, as an example, but certainly not identical.

                                                            1. re: thew

                                                              American table manners are devolved "royal" table manners. lazing about, taking your time to eat, and looking more mannerly than the bourgeosie and especially the peasants.
                                                              That, and many find the look of chewed food disgusting.

                                                            2. re: Jay F

                                                              I think the short answer to your question is YES. Only replace "Jewish" with "European" (Western) and "Southern farm boy" with "Asian".

                                                              The Japanese people as a whole are exceedingly polite and aware of social graces, and even so, the slurping is considered socially acceptable when all other manners are being observed because it is apparently rooted in some considered philosophy about the enjoyment of food or expression of gratitude. Not because they're uneducated about etiquette. It's not just coarse or country folk who do it.

                                                              Koreans (in Korea) almost always point with their middle fingers, and we all know what that means here...

                                                  3. I think the key here is taking in air. No matter what the food, everything is more delicious if you can eat with your mouth open a bit. If you are very strict about keeping your mouth fully closed during every bite, I don't think you can enjoy the food as much.

                                                    Great example about the wine.

                                                    8 Replies
                                                    1. re: Steve

                                                      On the other hand, tasting cognac, armagnac and calvados involves swishing the spirit in a closed mouth (something Marc Ribot, owner of Caves Auges, the oldest wine store in Paris, told me many years ago.)

                                                      1. re: penthouse pup

                                                        Interesting theories - in either case, it seems to be about aeration...

                                                        Maybe we should chew up our noodles and swish them with our mouths closed.


                                                        1. re: penthouse pup

                                                          Anything as potent as those liquors would require aeration with a closed mouth. To do it as done with wine (or noodles) would result in a very unpleasant experience.

                                                        2. re: Steve

                                                          I'm going to have to observe myself more closely as I eat. I can't believe I have been doing something for so long that prevents me from fully enjoying what I eat.

                                                          1. re: Steve

                                                            I tried it. I ate chili w/sour cream and cheddar cheese twice today by slurping it and eating it with my mouth open. It made not one iota of difference in how it tasted. It just made me laugh to be doing such a silly thing. It's such an unnatural thing for me to do, eat with my mouth open. Perhaps not too oddly, slurping doesn't sound as bad when I do it as it does when you to it.

                                                            I will continue to enjoy my food just fine with my mouth closed, but thank you for the interesting meal.

                                                            1. re: Jay F

                                                              It's good to experiment but in doing so, I'd try the noodles - long steaming hot noodles in a broth. Doing it with chili - basically a dense glob - won't replicate the results you wish to discern.

                                                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                I'm not eating noodles much these days, as I'm pre-diabetic, but I'll keep that in mind. Thanks.

                                                                1. re: Jay F

                                                                  Certain foods and drinks are much more conducive to this type of tasting technique. As others have mentioned, wines are dissected on the palate and in the nose in a very similar manner. Liquids, foods based in liquids, and of course, food you won't choke on if you perform this technique (rice, beans - you're a brave soul! - etc.). Think along those terms and I think your experiments will pan out more discerning results.

                                                          2. The slurping of noodles is entirely contradictory with their other eating practices where form and manners rule the day. If the appearance of joy is so important when eating noodles, why then are they so rigid when it comes to other eating habits, such as knowing how to hold and grasp the chopsticks, how to pick them up and to place them down, etc.? By the way, I am not Japanese, nor have I ever been to Japan. I learned this from watching videos and from reading. Am I misinformed?

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: nooyawka

                                                              yes, and no. Watch Fate/Stay Night. It provides an example that eating quickly and thoroughly, and celebrating the chef with gusto is a large part of japanese meals (and how you thank the chef) -- also a standard way of representing Genki characters, as opposed to Moe characters. [both of which are considered reasonably "culturally acceptable", imho]

                                                              about the only time "quiet and reverent" applies to food is the tea ceremony, and that's almost to the point of religious ritual. [I'd cite an anime, but I forget which one does it best.]

                                                              1. re: Chowrin

                                                                What are "genki" and "moe" characters? That only barely makes sense in Japanese, let alone English...The only people I ever hear who bring up tea ceremony are non-Japanese. Kaiseiki, high-end sushi, and other refined sub-cuisines all have quiet and reverent dining styles in Japan. But in general, there's no more rigidness in Japanese dining custom than there is in any other culture's dining custom. Noodle places in Japan are basically considered very informal and slurping is just an accepted practice. It's not meant as an expression of appreciation to the chef or to other patrons as much as it is one person hunkered down over their own bowl. People in the U.S. have this impression of the Japanese as very refined and mannered- which in general, is true. However when it comes to dining custom, especially those with street, urban, or simply informal origins, this is not the case.

                                                                1. re: Silverjay

                                                                  well, as to what I mean, watch Kiddy Grade. two protagonists. they also eat rather differently, as well. Genki is a standard Trope term, used in gaming/tv/hentai... Moe apparently has gotten too big to be what I was referencing.
                                                                  and of course my grammar sucks! ;-)

                                                              2. re: nooyawka

                                                                I'd say you're mostly misinformed.

                                                                1. re: nooyawka

                                                                  how is it contradictory? it is a "rule" just as rigid as all the rest

                                                                2. When socially acceptable, I like to slurp the noodles when hot; I find that it cools them down a bit.

                                                                  The questions is relative:

                                                                  Where non-Japanese are asking why the Japanese slurp their noodles, the Japanese are asking the rest of the world why they're NOT slurping their noodles...

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: J.L.

                                                                    And why are such crude and intimidating tools such as knives present at the table? :)

                                                                  2. There is definitely something primal and fundamental about this, much like eating with your hands that has been part of our childhood but different. Remember your first or early experiences with spaghetti? Assuming your parents didn't cut them up to avoid choking, most of us probably slurped one long strand up slowly as it was fun. Some of us probably held the spaghetti with our hands at the same time.

                                                                    Or whether it is tastier to suck up your popsicle, ice cream bar, versus licking it.

                                                                    There's also something about the slurping sound that appeals to some or creates more stimulus or stimuli to the enjoyment.

                                                                    They use it in advertising too


                                                                    Just for the hell of it, I paid extra attention to the way I ate some supermarket dried soba noodles (made them cold for dipping) last night at home. Did loud slurping, quiet slurping, slurping while keeping mouth opening small to accomodate 2 noodle strands or so, and tried slurping with opening mouth a bit wider, no slurping but using chopsticks to help push more noodle in, and no slurping but taking small bites. Let's just say they are all different experiences. The least delicious was obviously taking small bites, no slurping, and by that I mean the amount of texture felt in the mouth and amount of dip sauce savored.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: K K

                                                                      Some people chew their ice cream, taking bites out of a popsicle or an ice cream cone like it's a hot dog.

                                                                      1. re: Steve

                                                                        I chew on popsicles. I've been eating Edy's Lime Bars lately, and I noticed after reading this that I neither suck nor lick, but bite.

                                                                    2. Slurping makes a HUGE difference in flavor with soba in tsuyu. Give it a try and you'll know why slurping wins.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: joonjoon

                                                                        Great point. I actually think slurping affects the taste of chilled or room temp noodle dishes like soba, hiyashi chuka, et al more than hot ones.

                                                                        1. re: Silverjay

                                                                          I agree. It doesn't seem to make as big of a difference with hot noodle soups as it does with cold tsuyu. I also love slurping red bull. Really opens up the flavor.

                                                                      2. Slurping & “Nodogoshi” increases tasting
                                                                        --You can test by your body--
                                                                        Toshinaga Urabe

                                                                        April 28, 2014

                                                                        [1] Retro-nasal

                                                                        Dr. Linda Bartoshuk /Professor of the University of Florida explained the “tasting” in BBC TV program.  Ortho-nasal and retro-nasal are very important tasting functions. “Retro-nasal” is the air flowing smell from “mouth cavity” to “nose sensor”.
                                                                        Test Your Tongue: the Science of Taste
                                                                        ① http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvP7xG...
                                                                        I once agreed that this theory adopted in slurping and “Nodogoshi” theory. There were two authorities that “Retro-nasal” act with slurping of ramen noodle. One is Dentist doctor Koji Imajo that explained at Yokohama Ramen Museum’s PR video concerning to slurping effect.

                                                                        Another is Professor Ippeita Dan of Chuou University that explained at TV program (Tokorosan no Nippon no Deban 6ch 2014-4-22) concerning to ramen slurping effect.

                                                                        [2] Theory of slurping and “Nodogoshi of touch sensing

                                                                        Ramen museum PR video took questionnaire for 100 foreigners and 100 Japanese about why or why not they slurp the ramen. 60% foreigners do not slurp “Breach of manners”. On the other hands, Japanese opinion was:
                                                                        (#1) 55% Japanese slurp with “A reason is not known”.
                                                                        (#2) 40% Japanese feels “It’s more delicious to slurp”
                                                                        (#3) 5% Japanese feels “To cool the noodles”
                                                                        I analyzed these reasons. Last opinion of “To cool the noodles” is error. Slurping cannot make cool the noodle. Japanese slurp somen noodle to be chilled condition. Then 100% Japanese feel “slurping” is delicious tasting in any reasons.
                                                                        I found explanations of doctor Koji Imajo and Professor Ippeita Dan are wrong. I could make sure with my body to test slurping ramen noodle. It seemed to be difficult to test “Retro-nasal” effect independently. I found good method. I inserted round tissue paper into my two nose holes to kill “Retro-nasal” effect. This can block “Retro-nasal” performance. I compared pleasure feeling rate between tissue paper blocking and without blocking. There was no “pleasure difference” between both methods. Slurping do not relate with “Retro-nasal” directly. Another reason is that British method that use spoon or fork like ending patient can feel “Retro-nasal” without slurping.
                                                                        I thought why Japanese can feel ecstasy with slurping. I could get conclusion that slurping make ecstasy at 3 organizations. All are “touching sensual”.
                                                                        1] lips: noodle, soup and air flow give friction to lips. It is same sensual feeling of “deep kiss”.
                                                                        2] Upper mouth cavity: noodle, soup and air flow give touching to “upper mouth cavity”. You can make sure by your body. You can feel ecstasy to touch upper mouth cavity by tongue top end gently+gently . This sensual sensing test makes higher rate than lip kissing. It seems merely kind of “mastervation”.
                                                                        3] Gate of throat: Especially liquid soup gives the sensual feeling. We Japanese call this “Nodogoshi” for liquid like soup. When you slurp ramen soup, you can feel “Nodogoshi” at the gate of throat. In the case that you will try “Nodogoshi” with beer drinking, you open lips and throw in mass beer into gate of throat directly without slurping.
                                                                        These feelings need very delicate skill. Strong touching cannot feel. Weak touching cannot feel. It is same touching skill as sexual gentle touching performance.

                                                                        Only Japanese have enjoyed “slurping” and “Nodogoshi” ecstasy since 1500 years ago. “Slurping” is the total and supreme tasting technology by “lip”, “upper mouth cavity”, “tongue” and “throat”. Of course after slurping, bitten noodle and soup mouth cavity inside give gustations for tongue and go through to nose to act “Retro-nasal” performance. But this feeling effect is too small than slurping and nodogoshi touching feeling. All people except Japanese is very sad life without feeling “slurping” and “nodogoshi”.
                                                                        Best tasting is similar activity as sex activity. All feelings go to brain and compare with past memories. All organizations of devices are merely sensors. Tasting sensors are:
                                                                        1) Lip: touching sensor/slurping.
                                                                        2)Tongue: tasting sensor/5 gustations/3-5 times sensing rate by slurping.
                                                                        3)Upper mouth cavity: touching sensor/ slurping
                                                                        4)Gate of throat: touching sensor, ”NODOGOSHI”/slurping or throw in.
                                                                        5)Nose: smell sensor/”ortho-nasal” and “retro-nasal”
                                                                        6)Eye: looking sensor/food layout. food cooking method. Food menue.
                                                                        7)Ear: sound sensor/The dog of Pavlov. Slurping sound. Chef’s lie.

                                                                        Japanese experienced long time new sensing points that foreigner did not find by “slurping” and “Nodogoshi”. Japanese cultivated sensing points to eat and drink like ”lip”, “upper mouth cavity” and “gate of throat” by slurping. Human being has enjoyed sensual point. Especially “touching sensing” is big difference between countries and generation. If somebody tickles your armpits or thenar, you feel sensual feeling and fresh feeling. But armpits and thenar are always touched by cloth or shoes. Brain separates this feeling from sensual feeling. Noodle, soup and beer teach you new sensual points by slurping and Nodogoshi. Of course it needs training and must switch the brain taboo memory. It is same as sex life. Following history fact must assist foreigner can easily understand rich and cultivated Japanese food culture.

                                                                        [3] Japanese contributed 2 tasting technologies and culture.

                                                                        Umami(Monosodium Glutamate) is very important key word for Washoku(Japanese food) from ancient time. Technical Umami was invented by Japanese Ikeda 1908. Recently Umami is recognized at 5th gustation. It needs 100 years to be recognized for foreigner.
                                                                        ●Raw fish:
                                                                        Japan opened county 1868 for oversea. Many foreigners entered to Japan. They surprised that Japanese eat raw fish. This was only one habit in the worldwide. British said Japanese was barbarian. It was only one country to eat raw fish. England is islands same as Japan. But they have no culture to eat fish with variety except “fish-and-chips”. But now they eat “Sushi” of raw fish. It takes 120years that everyone eats raw fish as high-classified food. “Sashimi” is also raw fish. It is most important point for Sashimi must be fresh. Most extreme fresh is to eat “live Sashimi”. It is very difficult to cook “live sashimi” for chef. It needs high technology and quick cooking (within 5 minutes).
                                                                        When British came to Japan just after country opening, they was welcomed with supreme deal with “live sashimi”. They surprised at and upset as barbarous food. It was the big difference of food culture. Even they although eat “raw oyster”.

                                                                        “IKEZUKURI/live sashimi cooking” and “ODORIGUI/Dancing eat”

                                                                        Best chef can remove fish meat to be living. Live skeleton fish can swim. This supreme cooking is “IKEZUKURI/live cooking sashimi”.
                                                                        ② http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-hX2v...
                                                                        Japanese enjoy “ODORIGUI/Dancing eat”. Live sashimi dances in mouse, throat and esophagus. Live cuttlefish sucks the passing route. Japanese can feel it ecstasy.
                                                                        British also eat “raw oyster”. It is best fresh raw oyster just after removing the shell. It is also live. Is it not “barbarous”? They have “double standards”. Japanese have developed fish cooking ultimately. Same island British did not do effort for fish cooking. Japanese can eat poisonous “blowfish” sashimi. Australia now takes court Japan not to eat whale. They killed many whale ever to take only oil for lamp. It is very difficult to understand each other about food culture. Uncultivated British of sea food must obey to cultivated Japanese. Japanese is the teacher.

                                                                        Now you can see “live sashimi” at You Tube.
                                                                        Live Squid. In My Mouth.
                                                                        ③ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Q69du...
                                                                        ④ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCPOKJ...
                                                                        Squid Sashimi - Gutting and Cleaning a Fresh Squid
                                                                        ⑤ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aa3Mv6...
                                                                        Ten -Live Lobster and Crab Sashimi jumps out from the plate-
                                                                        ⑥ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4J6bwh...
                                                                        Live Lobster Sashimi prepared at Sushi Gen
                                                                        ⑦ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=No88Zu...
                                                                        Frog Sashimi (Eating Live Frog) (4 of 19
                                                                        )⑧ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVYwWO...

                                                                        [4] Japanese slurps only for tasting in the worldwide.

                                                                        “Slurping” method will be popular within 20 years in worldwide with “Ramen”. This will be new boom as how to eat and drink deliciously

                                                                        There is famous joke and fact:
                                                                        What is the worst food and What is the strict food manner?
                                                                        British food!
                                                                        Even French President Jacques René Chirac do not complain against British food at London Olympic, African kid who do not eat British food knows it is worst one. It is the common sense in the worldwide. Old French did not use fork to use by finger till 1533. Italian introduced fork using to French.
                                                                        Manner suffers a setback of cooking and tasting.

                                                                        [5]How to enjoy eating in addition to 5 gustations

                                                                        There is another method to enjoy eating and drinking in addition to 5 gustations of “Sweetness, Sourness, Saltiness, Bitterness, and Umami by “tongue” tasting sensing.
                                                                        ●“Smell” by “nose”.
                                                                        ●“Touch sense” by “lip”. “buccal cavity”, and “throat”. Especially “Slurping” gives “lips” and “upper mouth cavity” and “gate of throat” ecstasy of touching like “deep kissing”
                                                                        ●“Eye sensing” by “food arrange and layout on dish”
                                                                        Final eye sensing can be tested the difference by “blind test” at same food. “Blind tasting” has poor tasting than without mask. Blind can not inspire into brain memory of past tasting. Remember "The dog of Pavlov" of Nobel Prize. The dog reacted against sound of bell from ears. Dog and human can react from eyes and ear, smell and sound from kitchen.
                                                                        There is special restaurant in Paris. It is “Blind restaurant”/ "DANSLENOIR"(in the dark). Inside is 100% dark. Guests take mistake between white wine and red wine. They also take mistake between duck meat and cow meat.
                                                                        ⑨ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hylPyS...
                                                                        I remember another good sample, when I introduced US family into Japanese restaurant in NJ. We took “Sukiyaki” party. I was only one that I dipped Kobe beef meat into “raw egg”. I knew major American do not eat “raw egg” except Sylvester Stallone in “Rocky “. I called master chef to bring bowl of steamed rice and raw egg. I scrambled the egg with soy sauce in the bawl. I demonstrated to eat completely. I also introduced this is the typical Japanese breakfast. High School daughter of guest left table to bathroom. And she returned to her car quickly. Next morning guest explained his daughter threw up at toilet to see my demonstration. If she blind her eyes to eat raw egg, she must taste good. Eye information is very important for Japanese food.
                                                                        ⑩ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGQm5F...
                                                                        ⑪ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2dVg...

                                                                        [6]”Imprinted brain memory” by education for tasting”:
                                                                        Above sensors are inputting device sensor. All repeated information imprint each person’s memory (brain). Mama force or educate her children to taste some food to be her desirable tasting like "The dog of Pavlov". It is “mama’s taste”. Nobody can interrupt it. Children must obey to conservative table manner that even it is poor tasting and unreasonable tasting. Big difference between dog and human being is that gourmet reporter cheats person by talking (language). Dog is honest. Once imprinted neuron that meets same past tasting react in brain.
                                                                        When I drunk Coca-Cola in middle school, it is similar taste of medicine. But senior asked me to be good taste. Repeated drinking makes me good taste.
                                                                        American has flexible thinking and pragmatism for tasting. They drink soup from cup soup instead of dish soup with spoon. They have interested in Sushi (raw fish) first. Especially American food industries appeal various foods on TV commercial to destroy old food custom. They spread “Fast food” and “instant food” like “hamburger”, “instant ramen”, “instant coffee” and “tea bag” culture in the worldwide. There is no rule (manner) any more. My mother prohibited me to eat on walking ever. Now my children and I eat hamburger together on walking. Now we enjoy fast food culture. Nobody will prohibit slurping culture to eat ramen noodle soon later.
                                                                        Austria (Italian) Medici instructed to barbarian French king how to used the fork. Jobless chefs from guillotine French Revolution opened “Restaurant”. US local soldier boy experienced Europe food in War. Wars sometimes destroy the boarder of the food culture.

                                                                        [7] Slurping method for tasting/Japanese can taste only by slurping.

                                                                        When foreigners enter to “Japanese soba noodle restaurant”, they listen big slurping sound. Their brain memory is programmed that its sound is “discomfort”. Especially British shut their ears. Their brain memory is imprinted as worst table manner. It is impossible to change their memory. They give us a blast that this is same as “barbarian” people. They say with confidence “slurping” is the worst table manner in the worldwide. Recently, even Japanese young generation agrees with their opinion and they eat soba noodle without slurping. I think it is stupid opinion. Their un-cultivated and not sophisticated food culture will disappear soon later.
                                                                        There are famous scenes in movie “Mr. Baseball”. Major Leaguer (maybe Indians) hero was traded to Japanese baseball team. He was very surprised at “Somen noodle slurping sound” at manager home lunch.
                                                                        ⑫ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V3dRos...
                                                                        ⑬ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XhZBdj...
                                                                        There was another famous story. Daughter of Manager Wong (World Home run record holder) cancelled the engagement. She explained fiancé Dr. Honda slurp the soba noodle. She could not patient his habit. Her Chinese grandfather had famous Chinese restaurant in Tokyo. Chinese never slurp ramen noodle with using Chinese spoon.

                                                                        When I go to Japanese restaurant in US (Korean owner mainly) and eat noodle. I slurp always to make big sound. Another guests watch me. I smile and “Good、This is Japanese style”.

                                                                        All foreigners have no skill to slurp. Japanese has training from childhood. Many Japanese do not know foreigners cannot slurp. It needs the training from childhood. Japanese children see their parents slurping from baby. They also can master automatically. British families prohibit children’s slurping automatically. It needs to move brain from Japanese to British.
                                                                        I know actress Tomomi Nishimura and her daughter cannot slurp, but they have miracle technology to take in long noodle only by using their tongue. She need not use fork. It is very difficult to take in than slurping. This means family training is very important to master slurping. Food culture imprinted at home training.
                                                                        ⑭ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbGcHh...

                                                                        There is no reason of blame from person who has no ability of slurping.

                                                                        Haruka Christine came from Swiss to Japan in late teens. She needed 4 years to master slurping.

                                                                        When foreigners eat the noodle, they wind the noodle on fork or chopstick. And they take in block into mouse to close lips and nip it. It is most poor tasting.

                                                                        [8] The meaning and merit of slurping.

                                                                        It is simple reason why Japanese slurp the noodle and soup is to taste best. We Japanese must explain and recommend this method to foreigners. “Slurping” must use “lip”, “buccal cavity”, “tongue”, “throat” and “nose” completely. It is total artistic skill. Especially “lips” and “upper mouth cavity” are very important for “slurping” of soup.
                                                                        1) Shut mouse to make vacuum situation in buccal cavity.
                                                                        2) Slurp the noodle or soup. Slurping also must stop nose air through. This is the true that slurping is different theory from “Retro-nasal”.
                                                                        Noodle with soup and air go through “lip” by “touch sense” that give the great feeling in brain cellula. Especially upper lip can feel like “deep kiss”. Japanese enjoy “deep kiss” at open area. I agree with British get angry. “Slurping” makes big flow of liquid soup, big sound air flow and long solid ramen. These flows make also friction on lips and upper mouth cavity. These frictions of device sensors are sent to brain memory. And information is compared with past memory. “Slurping” makes same feeling as kissing. This is my imagination. It is possible to check both “brain waves” between “slurping” and “kissing” is same or not by MRI.
                                                                        Foreigner who cannot slurp noodle, they should slurp soup as training first.
                                                                        3) After “slurping”, “Air” through the “buccal cavity” goes through to “nose”. This “air” flow is very important. Through air also give the great smell feeling in brain cellula. Normal smell tasting is to feel to take in smell from out to nose to approach the food (Ortho-nasal). But “Slurping” method is reverse smelling. After slurping, sucked air must exhaust to out through nose. Mixed three items of “Solid matter” noodle, “liquid” soup and “air” that make sound go through mouse and the smell from above three item go through nose finally. This method can make 4 feelings of “lip, upper mouth cavity and throat” touch sense”, “tongue: taste”, and “nose: smell” automatically. This method also can tastes “solid matter: noodle”, “liquid: soup” and “air: smell” together at automatically.
                                                                        Dr. Linda Bartoshuk explained the tasting in BBC TV program.   Retro-nasal is very important functions.
                                                                        For Example, everyone can make test “Slurping” is best way to drink the soup by your self. “Slurping” also scrambles the soup to make flavor of soup. British uses spoon to drink soup. I think this is the method of “ending patient” that needs nurse assist. This spoon method puts only soup on the end of tongue. On the other hands, Soup of slurping method can touch upper lip and spread soup to all tongue surface, upper mouth cavity and throat, finally go to nose. Everyone can understand which method is better. The rate of tasting of slurping must be 3-5 times than spoon method. This high speed air gives best tasting to nose.
                                                                        British must slurp even black tea to taste better. British black tea taster that determine the grade also slurps and throws up into bucket to compare each tea quality. It is the best tasting.
                                                                        ⑮ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d7jj-6...
                                                                        Japanese green tea ceremony is now famous in the world. Green tea and ceremony came from China. History of tea ceremony has over 500 years in Japan. Especially it was established at age of civil strife. Chief samurais (Daimyou) enjoyed tea ceremony between killing battles to get easy sense. They also slurped powder scrambled green tea.
                                                                        Chilled somen noodle slurping can keeps cool air situation into throat not to warm by body temperature. This is same feeling as tasting chilled beer. Somen noodle is chilled in the ice water bawl recently. You can understand which is better between chilled beer and un-chilled beer.
                                                                        There is another Western person that use slurping method to enjoy “tasting”, “touching” and “smell” at same times. It is “wine sommelier”. They slurp wine to make sound. Japanese “sake sommelier” also adopt same tasting. This is professional tasting method. They taste by slurping at wine tasting competition. They also roll the wine in mouse to feel by tongue. But final difference for victory is “smell”. It is simple reason that they slurp is that it can make max for “nose sensor” by accelerated air flow by Dr. Linda Bartoshuk method.

                                                                        Sommelier understands advantage method is slurping to make sound the wine with air smell. High speed accelerated airflow give max into limited smell sensor and compare to brain memory of past tasting. They can remember the smell from their imprinted smell memory. If they cannot remember smell from their memory, they cannot hit correct label of wine. Scramble the wine with air in mouse makes to take out from melted smell in wine. I tried slurping the wine. But it is very difficult. I could not slurp. It needs training to master. I gave up this professional skill. This is same as cowboy whisky throwing in method. It needs training.

                                                                        As the conclusion of above explanation, the best tasting of soup must be also “slurping” method that British gentleman most hate. Soup has the melted essence from food material. You can taste max by slurping the soup to feel “gustation”, “smell” and “touching”. When you eat ramen noodle, you approach the mouse to the edge of bawl and slurp the noodle soup with air to make sound.
                                                                        Worst method like British that fill the soup on spoon and move to mouse. Their manner recommend to follow the soup to spoon handle up without sucking. I saw same scene at hospice for the dying. They cannot suck the soup by themselves. Nurse assist to eat by turn the spoon. British are ending patients. I hope Japanese Prime Minister must slurp the soup to make big sound at next Summit.

                                                                        [9] “Slurping” comes from sucking nipple of mama’s breast.
                                                                        Why Japanese keep “slurping custom” a long time independly?

                                                                        Baby of mammal looks for nipple of mama’s breast just after birth. It is only one connection with mama and baby to survive. Baby enclose mama’s nipple by lips to keep vacuum and sucking. This is original of “slurping”. Baby also feels ecstasy on sucking. Mama stops sucking to switch to baby food one year later. I remember my wife put hot pepper on her nipple my daughter not to suck. Mama asks her baby to use spoon. Baby master the biting to use spoon. Baby of human being originally have “slurping” same as “sucking”. But parent prohibit “slurping” after “sucking” except Japanese parent. When baby eat long (200mm) noodles of spaghetti, they can slurp it without fork. Parents except Japanese parents prohibit it. Japanese food (Washoku) have long history of bowl soup, rice and noodle. Japanese table manner allows left hand to lift up bowl to touch edge to lips and right hand to operate with chopstick. Japanese kid can master chopstick operation by 3-5 years old. Slurping must continue to get in the food completely. Parent never prohibit slurping Even Japanese baby make big sound to slurp like parent, parent feel it good tasting.
                                                                        On other hand, European parents ask their kid to use spoon without slurping. Islam and Indian parents ask to use right hand instead of fork. Left hand is taboo as dirty hand. They use left hand at toilet.

                                                                        [10] “Nodokoshi/ passing throat feeling”
                                                                        There is another important tasting. It is “NODOKOSHI/ passing throat feeling” for soup, noodle and beer. Noodle needs also “slurping”. “Soba noodle” and “Somen noodle” is to enjoy the “NODOKOSHI”. This do not means to introduce noodle to throat without biting. Slurping carry the liquid soup to the gate of throat where can feel good touching feeling. Liquid soup and air flavor also go through to nose. Left noodle is bitted to smash that make another flavor.
                                                                        British classified noodle into soup. It is only one good thing that British done.
                                                                        “Nodokoshi” relate to slurping to pass the liquid soup through throat to get good feeling.
                                                                        Japanese beer history is only 150years, but tasting method is best in the worldwide. Modern technology of electricity chilling gives us best tasting beer. Newcomer Japanese of beer tasting could master best way that foreigner could not find.
                                                                        Japanese beer maker and customer ask “Nodokoshi” feeling for beer. I felt ecstasy feeling at 40 years old someday suddenly. It is ecstasy just like feeing that I felt in my 11 years old. I felt ecstasy between my legs suddenly on climbing the tall pole at the school athletic field. But this beer ecstasy feeling decrease now by acclimation. 2 Japanese actress Youko Akino and Oniyakko Tsubaki explained ecstasy of beer. It is not only my experience. Everybody can get same experience.
                                                                        Correct beer “Nodogoshi” feeling method.
                                                                        1] Chilled mug beer. Temperature is 2-5 o Celsius.
                                                                        2] Open mouth, touch under lip to edge of mug.
                                                                        3] Throw in the mass beer to the gate of throat directly.
                                                                        4] Gate of throat surprise at chilled liquid and send information to brain to be ecstasy.
                                                                        Especially first drinking is most important. American cannot feel ecstasy at throat with direct drinking from bottle or can Budweiser. They feel it is “jiggy style” of “drinking by sips”. It is stupid drinking method. It is impossible to feel “Nodogoshi ” ecstasy. “Drinking by sips” method from bottle or can make beer warmer by buccal capsule and little beer reaches to throat not to feel “Nodogoshi ” ecstasy. American method is same as patients who cannot eat food taking “fluid diet”. Another stupid method of American is “bomb beer/whisky” method. This is same as “alcohol abuse” method. They do not hope tasting but to be knocked out.
                                                                        Some Japanese can maker tries to invent to make bigger the opening of can.

                                                                        [11] Epilogue/ Washoku/Japanese food

                                                                        UNESCO determined the “Washoku/Japanese food” as “World Heritage” in December 2013. This is the “Culture Heritage”. Japanese also must appeal how to eat Japanese food. It must belong food culture and how to eat like “slurping”
                                                                        On the other hand, I wonder why I must open the know-how of supreme delicious “slurping” method to barbarian and uncultivated British. We Japanese keep secret to them about best food culture to enjoy within Japanese society (This is joke). Now raw fish of sushi is very popular in the worldwide. Then we Japanese cannot eat tuna cheaply. If foreigner does not try to slurp, we Japanese keep feeling of superiority at same seat to eat ramen
                                                                        Food culture always changes in the worldwide scale. There will come many kind foods from foreign. Domestic foods also get an influence from foreign food. Some of them will disappear and some of them can survive. This also means food culture also disappear or survive. Slurping can survive?

                                                                        “Ramen noodle” is not Japanese original. It was imported from China after opening county. It is about 180 years ago. But it was improved to become as Japanese food. Now it is delicious than Chinese made.
                                                                        Dried “Somen noodle” was also imported from China about 1500 years ago. Somen noodle soup was invented by Japanese. It was made from “fish” and “soy been sauce”. Japanese “slurping” maybe has over 1000 years history.
                                                                        I think “slurping” is the Japanese food culture. This method also must be registered to “World Heritage”. Japanese oversea embassies must be held “Competition of slurping soba needle” by foreigner.
                                                                        Foreigner can enjoy “slurping” as Japanese culture. Nobody need wonder British manner police.

                                                                        1. (Yes, I know it's a 2011 thread)

                                                                          I'm still curious about "all the major continents..."

                                                                          Though next, I'd like to see a show with people from the US and Japan commenting on the sizes of glasses of water in both countries.


                                                                          1. Hi E.ETO

                                                                            Please read my “Slurping & Nodogoshi increases tasting”.
                                                                            Although we Japanese have 1500 years history of “slurping”, there was nobody that analyzed “slurping & nodogoshi” with science eye except 2 authorities of doctor Koji Imajo and Professor Ippeita Dan.
                                                                            Even all Japanese did not know the slurping mechanism.
                                                                            It is natural activity same as breathing. There was no need to doubt.
                                                                            I suppose both authorities “copy and paste” the theory of Dr. Linda Bartoshuk without credit.
                                                                            They thought slurping effect from “smell at nose”.
                                                                            I doubted and made sure by my body test.

                                                                            Do you know Japanese enjoy the “Nodogoshi” feeling?

                                                                            I think my report is first one that put attention to “good touching feeling” to slurping and nodogoshi.
                                                                            Can you feel ecstasy to touch “upper mouth cavity” by tongue end?
                                                                            Can you feel ecstasy to throw in mass beer to the gate of throat?