Hey, have you eaten the news? – Japanese “noodle newspaper” comes with the news printed on the food. You can fill your need for knowledge and lunch at the same time. Very efficient. These days, the vast majority of people get their news from digital sources. We sometimes get nostalgic for the old-fashioned ways of doing things, so the other day we purchased some print media news. However, the medium it was printed on wasn’t newsprint or glossy magazine stock, but on noodles. With soba (buckwheat) noodles being the representative cuisine of Nagano Prefecture, local newspaper Shinano Mainichi Shimbun came up with the idea of creating Soba Shimbun (“Soba Newspaper”) noodles, with sentences written right on the noodles.
Since there’s likely to be some time lag between when people buy the noodles and when they eat them, the focus of the Soba Shimbun isn’t up-to-the-minute breaking news. Instead, Soba Shimbun’s writing shines a light on the best parts of Nagano’s culture and lifestyle, giving residents a sense of pride and encouraging people from outside the prefecture to come visit and see it for themselves. Because Japanese print newspapers often have their text arranged in vertical columns (with the characters read from top to bottom, and then the columns from right to left), the long, thin shape of the soba noodles really does make them look like a newspaper when you lay them down next to each other.
Soba Shimbun have one of 50 messages printed on it. In our two-person pack, there were ten text noodles, included randomly from a pool of about 50 different possibilities that teach readers Nagano tidbits such as:
“Nagano drivers are the most likely to stop at crosswalks.”
“People in Nagano love animals, and we even have the world’s monkeys only hot spring.”
“Nagano is a relaxing place, but we’re also Japan’s largest producer of spicy wasabi.”
“Nagano Prefecture has the third highest percentage of residents who volunteered as part of natural disaster relief programs.”
You’ll need to do your reading before you do your cooking, though, as the noodles’ text disappears as they boil. Still, we had food for thought while we had our food, and the noodles were excellent. Like we mentioned above, soba is Nagano’s culinary claim to fame, and these were delicious, with just the right touch of chewiness without being doughy. Soba is a year-round food that can be enjoyed either hot or cold, with the cold version eaten by dipping the noodles into a separate bowl of broth before each bite.
Japan explained in food
A frustrated Japanese father vented, “When I was a youngster, I was disciplined by being sent to my room without supper. But in my son’s room, he has his own color TV, telephone, computer, and stereo system.” “So what do you do?” asked his friend. “I send him to MY room!” exclaimed the father.
I don’t get why Japanese people and South Korean people just can’t get along.
I mean, they’re all Chinese.
I asked my Sushi Chef what his favorite roll was…
he said “Payroll.”
When I was younger, I had an invisible Japanese friend…
As I grew up I just realized it was just my imagine-asian.
November 14th birthdays
1954 – Condelezza Rice, 1962 – Laura San Giacomo, 1995 – Stella Hudgens, 1990 -Stella Maeve
1947 – P.J. O’Rourke, 1976 – Guy Vanerchuk, 1900 – Aaron Copeland, 1954 – Yanni