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Oct 24, 2011 09:45 AM

Another noodle slurping question

A notable local chef recently opened a Japanese noodle house, complete with several research trips to japan and sourcing of a combination of authentic Japanese ingredients with local products for an inventive, fun twist. The place advertises themselves as being "slurpalicious," which I think is cute.

I have taken several people here. One is sort of a foodie but not anywhere near like me, she mostly just likes to eat at places that have good Veg selections as she is a Veg. The others are completely non-foodie. I had to explain to one co-diner what kale was. And quinoa. And adzuki beans, but I'm more forgiving about the last 2.

None of these people are slurping. I've been trying to LEARN how to slurp and this has been a good opportunity. As I get takeout from them pretty often, I'm doing better at it and enjoy it. I have gotten looks from them when slurping, like WTF. And NOBODY is picking up their bowl and drinking from it at the end, no one in the whole restaurant. I have tried sometimes to explain how slurping is polite in a noodle house or that it's ok to drink from the bowl but I just get the "uh huh, you're crazy" look.

What's your take on this. Do as is proper for the food, disregarding my narrow-minded co-diners and attempt to assimilate them into noodle culture? Or stop slurping and bowl-drinking and eat like a good 'Mericun, at least when I am with others.

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  1. Those rube Americans should be smoking cigs while they are slurping, just like in Japan.

    1. Here's my take on eating like "X' cultural within an American dining establishment. The rules may be one way within the particular region where the food hails from but the rules may differ in the area where the restaurant is.

      If the community where the restaurant is is located eats one way, that will likely be how those dining wish to eat the food - in this case not slurping or drinking from the bowl because that is how they were raised and they are still within the confines of the environment where they were raised (U.S.A.). While what you are doing may be acceptable, it might well be making your dining companions uncomfortable and might be something that you choose not to do in front of them if that is the case.

      I can loosen up some when I am out of the country and do as the Romans do, but, within the US I am very timid at times to eat in certain ways because of the attention it might bring me. If I were in Japan I wouldn't bat an eye, but, here is somehow still feels rude when others do it around me. I never really know what to do sometimes!

      1. I'd be slurpin' to beat the band! Let 'em stare!

        1. Thanks for the answers so far. I still don't know what the right thing is to do. Hmm. Need more CH answers!

          1. Personally, I'm for slurping. However, to be sensitive to your co-diners...there's a chance that the slurping is offensive to them. Like in other cultures where burping shows your contentment after a meal...but here it shows your lack of manners.
            If you like your co-diners/friends, and it seems to reaaallly bother them, maybe keep the slurping to a minimum when eating with them.

            3 Replies
            1. re: BeeZee

              Yeah, I don't want to offend anyone, and I'm not sure that I'm offending, I just got some surprised looks.

              1. re: rockandroller1

                Those who looked surprised probably thought you were offending them.

              2. re: BeeZee

                That's an interesting question, and one that leads my mind to the broader question of when we do (and don't) adapt to foreign eating customs. In fact I think I'll start a new thread on that so as not to hijack this one.