Why Japanese People Slurp The Noodles?
The unique thing that you can only find in the Japanese table manner is the custom of slurping the noodle, which is considered as weird by most foreigners. Weird, really?!?! Yes, foreigners think that slurping noodles is weird, as making loud noises while eating is considered as “impolite” or “bad table manners” in many countries outside Japan.
However, slurping noodles in Japan is considered as polite, and many Japanese people consciously inhale and slurp their noodle and soup dishes in a very audibly way, sometimes noisy. Are you surprised with this fact? Take it easy, because you’re not alone, I was surprised as well, and today I have decided to explain why all Japanese people slurp their noodles. After reading these reasons, you can decide yourself to slurp or not, but don’t force yourself to slurp, as you might choke yourself from slurping (actually I did)!
1. It is easier for you to eat hot noodles or soups by slurping them
Some Japanese people believe that slurping will cool off the hot noodles and help them consuming the noodles easily. These people believe that the air produced while slurping changes the temperature of the noodles, so when the noodles come into full direct contact with their tongues, the noodles are not as hot as they were. These people also admit that the slurping habit while eating noodles or soups has ingrained very well in their daily lives, so whether they are eating the hot or cold noodles, they would still slurp their noodles in a very audible way.
2. Your noodles and soup will taste better and more flavorful if you slurp them
Some researches in Japan found out that slurping the noodles and its soup aerates the noodles and the broth, which also apparently balances the flavor of both ingredients as well. This phenomenon enhances the flavor of the noodles and the soups, and these might be another reasons why Japanese people tend to slurp their noodles, not eating them.
3. Slurping shows the others that you enjoy the food and appreciation to the chef(s)
I’ve talked and discussed about the slurping customs in Japan, and many of my friends believe that slurping actually shows one’s enjoyment of delicious food. In addition, slurping also shows gratitude and appreciation to the chef who cooked the dishes, so many Japanese people slurp the noodles and the soups even more audibly while eating in front of the chef, just to show their affirmation for the high quality of the food.