General Discussion

Oriental noodles: to cut or not?


General Discussion 14

Oriental noodles: to cut or not?

Howard-2 | Mar 20, 2005 12:19 PM

Some months ago I posted a query here asking about the practice of cutting oriental noodles, and I was assured by several people that because noodles symbolized long life, it would be a kind of cultural taboo for a food establishment to cut noodles.

Today I went back to the establishment (see below) that prompted my query, and bought some (prepared) Shanghai (rice) noodles, and sure enough, they clearly had been cut.

This establishment is a large Oriental supermarket in the Boston area, and it has a small restaurant in one corner. This restaurant is very simple, and has about 14 or 18 or so different dishes (maybe more)that have been prepared ahead of time, sitting in the steam table. The clientele is heavily Oriental--I suspect there may be more Vietnamese than any other ethnic group.

I think it was necessary for the restaurant (or chef) to cut the noodles in order to get a more uniform distribution of "stuff" (carrot slivers, pork, scrambled egg, shrimp, scallion, etc) in the noodles; if the noodles had not been cut, the carrot slivers etc would have been on top or on the bottom of the noodles.

I noticed that the 2 other noodle dishes in the case (one looked like Pad Thai, the other like thick cellophane noodles) also appeared to have been cut, and that the pork etc was fairly uniformly distributed.

So that's the story here? If this restaurant is violating some cultural taboo, I would have thought that people would stop patronizing it.

Can someone enlighten me?

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