Sunday, March 2, 2008

How to Eat Noodles

This is a wonderfully touching scene from a Japanese movie called Tampopo. Thank you to my great friends C and J that recommended, nay, insisted that I must see it, because it would knock my socks off. It did, and I now I must also insist that you check out this sweet, hilarious love letter to all that is good about food and eating. Enjoy!

One fine day I went out with an old man.

apologize to the pork

He’s studied noodles for 40 years. He was showing me the right way to eat them.

soup first, or noodles first?

“Master. Soup first, or noodles first?”

“First, observe the whole bowl.”

first observe the whole bowl

“Yes, sir.”

appreciate the gestalt...

“Appreciate its gestalt, savor the aromas."

jewels of fat...

“Jewels of fat glittering on the surface. Shinachiku roots shining. Seaweed slowly sinking. Spring onions floating."

concentrate on the pork slices

“Concentrate on the three pork slices…

They play the key role, but stay modestly hidden.”

caressing with chopsticks

“First caress the surface, with the chopstick tips.”

“What for?”

“To express affection.”

“Oh, I see.”

expressing affection

“Then poke the pork.”

“Eat the pork first?”

“No. Just touch it. Caress it with the chopstick tips."

apologize to the pork

“Gently pick it up and dip it into the soup on the right of the bowl. What’s important here is to apologize to the pork by saying:

He's studed noodles for 40 years.

"See you soon.”

Tampopo (1985)
Directed by Juzo Itami

Won 1986 Award of the Japanese Academy

Nominated 1988 Independent Spirit Award, Best Foreign Film


  1. I have been trying very hard to locate this on DVD for ages, do you know where I can find that?
    My dad showed me this movie when i was 6 and the images in this movie left a great impression in my mind.
    could also explain why I love food!

  2. I think this may be my new favourite foodie good! Sadly, I had to return the DVD to my friends, who had rented it from Netflix. (I'd like to buy myself a copy too, but don't quite have the $75 to fork over on ebay...yet!):)