Noodles are so great, right? In fact, they’re so great that just about every culture has grabbed them some and constructed something original and wonderful from them. The Italians coat them in marinara sauce, the chinese saute them with vegetables, and the Americans simmer them with chicken, sliced carrots and celery. In college we eat them by the truck load, one ninety-nine cent portion at a time. If we want to impress a date, we go get the Italians’ version. If we want to feel trendy, or are in a hurry, we get a box of the Chinese kind. If we feel ill, we get a bowl of the Americans’.
Of course, the Italians have probably gone the furthest with the noodle. They bent and twisted the little guys into elbows, twirlies, fatties, thin ones, wide ones, and then they gave each one a completely different name that sounds almost exactly the same. Still, most of Italian food you come across here in the states is made by just boiling up a bunch of one of the noodles and putting some sauce and cheese on or in them. If you compare the stereotypical classic Italian physique with the stereotypical classic Chinese physique, and it’s clear that one of them is a bit more calorie prone than the other. Maybe that’s why we’ve made Italian our special occasion food.
Now, whenever China lays claim to having done something first, you usually aren’t going be able to negotiate around it. Italy made a go at it for centuries, trying to claim responsibility for the first noodle, but since it happened that in 2005 archaeologists found a 4,000 year old bowl of noodles buried in the ground, their argument pretty much was put to bed. So, with China successfully laying claim to the origin of the noodle, how fortunate was I that some organization here in town opted to throw an Asian Festival on the same day as National Noodle Day? Noodles, pork on a stick, and some Muslim Filipino dancing, don’t mind if I do!
The plate of noodles and rice that I got for lunch at the Asian Festival, however, just made me crave more. Specifically, it made me need to get a big ass bowl of Pho Ga at Far East Cuisine (pictured up top). It’s a Vietnamese noodle soup that’s got some vegetables, chicken, cilantro, and a good kick of spicy spice and jalapeno in there. It really leaves the belly with that amazingly good kind of full! Far East also has a made to order Hot and Sour soup that is unlike any other that I’ve had before, and so I got a pint of that for my Sunday afternoon as well, but that’s not really relevant here.
See you Tuesday for National Dessert Day.