Jan 26, 2016
To be more specific, the “men” we’re about to explore is of the culinary variety: noodles. Consumers in Singapore have a strong taste for ramen, but why not consider these other types of Japanese noodles the next time your men cravings hit?
A staple food in many parts of the world, noodles have been around for a very long time – so long, no one knows for sure when and where the very first strand of noodle was invented! However, the earliest record of noodles can be found in a book written during the Eastern Han period (25 AD – 220 AD) in China. During as early as the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD), noodles already became a staple food for the people, and it was only during the Yuan Dynasty (1271 – 1368) that dry noodles made their first appearance.
As it is widely believed that noodles were brought in to other parts of Asia from China, the significance of noodles has taken on a similar cultural meaning – that eating them symbolises longevity. In Japan, a country that takes pride in being a stickler for tradition, the different types of noodles also carry specific purposes. On New Year’s Eve, for example, families would gather together to eat toshikoshi-soba to celebrate toshikoshi, which refers to the crossover of one year to the next. Eating the long noodles before midnight therefore symbolises a smooth and all-round auspicious transition to the New Year.
If you’ve ever been to Japan or eaten with the locals, you would certainly have noticed something about the way they eat their noodles – rather loudly. Doing so anywhere else may come across as impolite, but in Japanese culture, it is anything but. As a matter of fact, the flavour of the noodles is said to be enhanced the louder you slurp them. In front of the host or chef, slurping your noodles is also a form of appreciation, an indication that you are enjoying your meal.
(Text Tan Lili)