Food - Drink
Why You Should Slurp Soba Noodles, Not Chew
By HEATHER LIM
In Western dining etiquette, it’s considered impolite to make loud slurping noises when eating paste or soup, but in Japanese culture, slurping gives off a different vibe. Some foods, like soba noodles, should only be slurped, not bitten and thoroughly chewed, if you want to enjoy them to the fullest and show the cook your appreciation.
Slurping soba and only biting the noodles in half a few times until you can swallow, rather than chewing them into mush, allows you to taste the buckwheat flour and enjoy the bouncy, smooth, and toothsome texture. Enthusiastic slurping also shows the chef that you love your food, and quietly, slowly eating noodles is actually considered rude.
Chef Yasunori Kasuya adds that you should lightly — not heavily — dip your soba in the common soy-based it comes with, so the buckwheat flavor of the noodles is the first thing you'll taste. He also says that you should add bits of wasabi and green onions to the sauce or soup as you eat, rather than all at once.