Have your parents ever told you to chew your food quietly? Well, it is probably the etiquette around the world, except in Japan. When you enter a Japanese noodle restaurant, you can hear the slurping sounds. It is amusing for foreigners but a delight for the chefs who prepared the noodles.
However, this is not the case for all Japanese food. Eating noisily is frowned upon in Japan. So, why is slurping loudly for noodles an exception? Horii Yoshinori, a noodle expert in the country, gave the answer.
It’s simple science, he says. The right way to fully enjoy soba (Japanese noodles made using buckwheat flour) is by slurping it. You must smell the soba first and then eat it. After cooking, soba’s lovely aroma becomes mild and the human nose cannot detect it properly. That’s why the deep inhalation.
And then when you slurp the noodles into your mouth, their mild aroma glides into the nose from the throat. That’s when you can smell and taste the soba correctly and enjoy the experience.
What a sweet and fun way to enjoy food!