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December 2, 2008 9:31 PM   Subscribe

How to eat spaghetti. Fufu. Phở. Injera. An artichoke. Chicken feet. A pomegranate. Indian food. Natto. If you're going to do it, do it right.
posted by Deathalicious (87 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite

 
Wow, that phở link is like a poem. A poem that makes me very, very hungry.
posted by padraigin at 9:49 PM on December 2, 2008 [7 favorites]


This post is excellent. I also just had my first not-in-something-else artichoke a few days ago, and was fascinated with the way it was eaten. It was like some sea creature or underwater pine cone.
posted by thatbrunette at 10:04 PM on December 2, 2008


Want to know how to eat Indian food? Go to the New Ganges in San Francisco.

It's a tiny joint in the Haight, where the owner is the chef, the waiter, and so much more.

He'll come to your table, and guide you through the process, commanding you to order a Mango Lassi (and he's quite correct, they are the best I've ever had). Then he'll show you how to mix up a bite with just the right proportions of saag to pillav, drench it just enough in raita, and eat it. He will do this by picking up your fork and feeding you. Each of your party will be hand-fed, lovingly, insistently, intimately. But his real trick is, the food is so fucking rich and perfect, you will salivate and savor and every tiny moment that he is bringing the bite toward your lips, and you will open up to him, to his platonic, fatherly, benevolent, luscious guidance, and you will groan with pleasure. Then he'll share his wisdom with you, the challenges to you that guide you through intermediate Indian food comsumption: aphorisms worthy of the buddha. "The man who eats with his hands never burns his mouth," and my adopted motto: "Eat as much sauce as you can."

I understand the reviews of this place are mixed. Some people found the dining experience not to their liking. Some people should stick to cold sandwiches over the sink.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:09 PM on December 2, 2008 [21 favorites]


When you've been eating pomegranates as long as I have, you have honed your technique: long nails, nimble fingers, sharp teeth and precision lips.

None of that bowl of water and knife nonsense.
posted by seawallrunner at 10:11 PM on December 2, 2008 [2 favorites]


I love phở. The proper way to pronounce it in Vietnamese is "fuh", but with a rising pitch at the end as if it were a question: phở? This is a food whose very name asks the question "wouldn't you like to eat some phở?" Yes, I would.
posted by twoleftfeet at 10:15 PM on December 2, 2008


seconding the awesomeness of pho.
posted by BrnP84 at 10:17 PM on December 2, 2008


I think pho almost beats bacon in the MeFi's Own Food competition, yup. In every city in which I've lived, finding a good pho hut is one of my first objectives.

The pho poem also made me salivate.
posted by rokusan at 10:21 PM on December 2, 2008


When you've been eating pomegranates as long as I have, you have honed your technique: long nails, nimble fingers, sharp teeth and precision lips.

Hawt.
posted by rokusan at 10:21 PM on December 2, 2008


I came here fully prepared to criticize the How To Eat Indian Food with Your Hands link, but actually it pretty much nails it, down to noting the difference between South and North Indians when it comes to food touching the palm and the not touching serving dishes with your eating hand rule.
posted by peacheater at 10:25 PM on December 2, 2008


[When eating spaghetti] in an informal setting instead, compliment the cook and ask your guests for permission to make a Scarpetta.

"This spaghetti is delicious. May I have your permission to make a Scarpetta?"

I am totally going to do this now, if only to see the looks of confused shock and horror.
posted by rokusan at 10:27 PM on December 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ambrosia Voyeur, that's not just eponysterical, but now I'm dying to go. Meetup?
posted by rokusan at 10:29 PM on December 2, 2008


Oh dear God natto.
posted by bardic at 10:31 PM on December 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'd say that pomegranate technique could be improved to cause less mess and damage to seeds:

First you slice off just the protruding part at the top, without touching the seeds. Then starting at the top, make a thin incision all the way around to the bottom and back again; the cut should not go past the skin. Make a second circular incision perpendicular to the first one. You now have a criss-cross where the sliced-off part was. Stick the knife into the incisions here and you will find the quarters come apart pretty easily. Then remove the seeds how you see fit.
posted by parudox at 10:34 PM on December 2, 2008


> The proper way to pronounce it in Vietnamese is "fuh"

So you can save your time, there is already a place called What the Pho?

(that was my first response to learning it was pronounced Fuh)
posted by mrzarquon at 10:39 PM on December 2, 2008


Oh this is a fun post, but really, if by the time you are an adult you have failed to figure out how to eat spaghetti, then something has gone wrong in your upbringing. Artichokes, etc.? Fine, these are not mainstream, but do you really want to be that Poindexter in the corner eating pizza or wings with a knife and fork? It's spaghetti-Os for you my friend.
posted by caddis at 10:41 PM on December 2, 2008


oh mrzarquon?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:43 PM on December 2, 2008


When you've been eating pomegranates as long as I have, you have honed your technique: long nails, nimble fingers, sharp teeth and precision lips.

May I ask what species you are?
posted by pracowity at 11:03 PM on December 2, 2008


That is a very crap way to eat chicken feet. Chicken feet are best eaten at a dim sum restaurant with some black beans and some cut chili. Out of a nice bamboo steamer. With chopsticks. And some jasmine tea. And don't think about what you are doing or you will freeze. And preferably with your mate from the country sitting next to you who was brought up on a farm and had chickens and knows what chickens walk around in and there's no way in hell he's eating chicken feet but you go ahead I'll just have some more of these excellent har gau (prawn dumplings).
posted by awfurby at 11:03 PM on December 2, 2008


The Pho poem misses the part where you splash Pho broth all over your shirt.
posted by b1tr0t at 11:10 PM on December 2, 2008 [1 favorite]


YOU DID NOT JUST TELL ME HOW TO EAT AN ARTICHOKE

Oh, ok. You did. That's just about exactly right. Except for that bit about cutting off the tips of the petals. It's a goddamn thistle. It has thorns! You want me to cut the crusts off your sandwiches, too?

No, seriously. The thing is if you actually have to grip the end of the petal so hard to pull them off that the thorn is somehow painful to grasp the artichokes are clearly undercooked.


Sometimes I want to buy like 5 or 10 artichokes, steam them and devour them all with garlic butter - just to get at the artichoke hearts. Someone needs to cross a giant sunflower with an artichoke to give us dinner-plate sized artichoke hearts.
posted by loquacious at 11:14 PM on December 2, 2008 [8 favorites]


Sweet, these go well with the how to cook corn on the cob empire.
posted by scodger at 11:17 PM on December 2, 2008


Just so you know; I've been keeping score. Amongst MeFi comments here, Pho, artichokes, and pomegranates are in the lead. Chicken feet are far behind.

"Proper way to eat..." definitely belongs on EatMe.
posted by twoleftfeet at 11:31 PM on December 2, 2008


That description of eating phở makes me wish I ate red meat. I am very intrigued by the coffee. It sounds decadent.

Based on my horrified reaction at the pollution of actual yummy food like miso and curry with natto in that video, I'm guessing natto is still a no-go for me. "It's good for you" is never a good sign when it's the only thing to recommend a foodstuff, IMO.
posted by elfgirl at 11:38 PM on December 2, 2008


Natto is one of those things where you either hate it or you're a lying liar.
posted by nightchrome at 12:03 AM on December 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


I LOVE NATTO. I DO NOT LIE. I HAD IT FOR BREAKFAST.

(but then I am Japanese. From the Tokyo/Kanto area)
posted by thread_makimaki at 12:08 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


pho is good but bun is best. Noodles over greens with hot oil and all the lil veggies. AND...the COFFEE!!!! OMG...strong and pressed over condessed milk and ice.....oh my.
posted by shockingbluamp at 12:08 AM on December 3, 2008


Do you really want to be that Poindexter in the corner eating pizza or wings with a knife and fork?

I tell you, I was horrified when I moved to Germany: everyone carefully, carefully sawed away at their pizzas, generally detaching the toppings and the cheesy goodness from the dough. I followed suit to be polite, but man, every time I lose bits of sauce or topping due to having to knife-and-fork my pizza, I die a little inside.

I kid, having Italian-style pizza quattro formaggi makes up for all silverware-related differences!
posted by ubersturm at 12:11 AM on December 3, 2008


Phở poem is perfect. The late night phở place is closing in thirty minutes.
It is twenty minutes away by bike, twelve by car, and five by train.
My bike's wheel was stolen last week, my car was totalled two years ago.

The trains stop at midnight.

Late night phở place closes in twenty eight minutes.
posted by Mister Cheese at 12:14 AM on December 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


Damn, my clock is set ahead by ten minutes!

Worse, I still have no way to get to phở!
posted by Mister Cheese at 12:17 AM on December 3, 2008


I like tendons and tripe in my pho. I'm hardcore like that.
posted by bardic at 12:29 AM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Mister Cheese, I don't know if this is to taunt or assist you, but for future reference, here you go.
posted by kaspen at 12:32 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I slurped my spaghetti in front of non-family-members once. Apparently this made me some sort of butt-scratching Neanderthal.

I didn't get the manual when I was growing up, so I ate on automatic. Someone's gotta teach you these things.
posted by Maxson at 12:47 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Koreans love spaghetti (su-ba-gae-ti) and they slurp it like fiends. Just sayin'.
posted by bardic at 12:58 AM on December 3, 2008


I once asked for the 'chicken special' pho. There was a moment of awkward hesitation from the girl serving, before she clarified by saying "it is, how you say? The inside of the chicken..?"
I had no idea, but I didn't want to look like some kind of white bread moron so I decided to man up and order it anyway... A pho bearing a variety of chicken organs, stomach, and several cubes of what I believe were jellied blood arrived. My sense of hubris made me eat it all, and it actually was pretty damn nice.

At least once a week I need a bowl now. Its a freaking addiction. Beef, Chicken, whatever. I need it, it's amazing
posted by Thoth at 1:06 AM on December 3, 2008


That is a very crap way to eat chicken feet.

Having a good looking woman personally instruct me on doing anything is far from crap. Come to think of it, I may require it from now on.

Spaghetti, and the like, is not soup. Do not slurp! You will only splatter the gravy/sauce everywhere. Also do not break the spaghetti before putting it into the pot you philistines. Hold the desired amount of pasta in your fist vertical in the middle of the pot. With your other hand, flat on top of the pasta, twist. Release. The pasta should evenly distribute around the pot in a spiral. This will allow it to boil down into the pot and will cut down on the clumping of noodles.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:23 AM on December 3, 2008


I just have to add to this drool-off, that as a long time international noodle soup lover, a proper bowl of Miso Ramen beats Pho any day hands down. Pho just isn't... fermented and glutamatey enough.
posted by kaspen at 1:47 AM on December 3, 2008


I was very surprised to see that I've been eating my pho correctly all this time. Seems pretty obvious though- although it is hard to hold off on drinking the coffee. Oh wow, the coffee- I cold survive on that alone.
posted by sunshinesky at 3:19 AM on December 3, 2008


Also, it's polite to slurp your noodles? Hmm.
posted by sunshinesky at 3:20 AM on December 3, 2008


Polite? Depending where you are, it can be required social protocol.

Which I never got used to, or really liked.

That's what I do, too, parudox.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:20 AM on December 3, 2008


Not all about food, but that Blog with the Pho poem is very very good.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:38 AM on December 3, 2008


Not to nitpick, but the chicken feet video failed to demonstrate how you are supposed to pick the little skin bits from between your teeth with the claw when you are done.
posted by Pollomacho at 4:42 AM on December 3, 2008


The correct way to eat anything is OM NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM amirite?
posted by kcds at 5:31 AM on December 3, 2008


I know how you're supposed to pronounce "pho" but I kind of feel pretentious doing it. Same with "bruschetta. "
posted by JoanArkham at 5:54 AM on December 3, 2008


If I ever don't wipe the gravy out of my pasta bowl with a piece of bread, check my pulse.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:08 AM on December 3, 2008


Nato is awesome. It has some of the highest levels of K2 which some research has shown is a super vitamin for health (and the linked video is hilarious).
posted by stbalbach at 6:27 AM on December 3, 2008


"pho is good but bun is best"

There are lies, damn lies, statistics, things my primary school teachers told me when I asked why we weren't allowed to do things, things the tv warbles into my ear when I fall asleep in front of it and wake with a strange urge to have six pack abdominals in only five minutes a day, and then there is the above statement.

Pho rules. Bun is bullshit.
posted by surenoproblem at 6:36 AM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Slurping your noodles is a way to cool off the food. You inhale cool air with the food as you eat it.
posted by P.o.B. at 6:44 AM on December 3, 2008


I'm so awesome that the waiters at my phở place don't even bring me a menu anymore.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:47 AM on December 3, 2008


The Pho poem misses the part where you splash Pho broth all over your shirt.

Thin swinging noodles
Crack like whips with brothy tips
Laugh at the white guy
posted by roystgnr at 6:59 AM on December 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


The only right way to eat natto is at least 100 yards downwind from me.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:13 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know how not to eat injera? Like this one asshat Mrs. Example and I saw once at our favorite Ethiopian restaurant. He sat down and ordered, and then his food arrived...

...and he asked for salt. And pepper. And hot sauce.

And a motherfucking knife and fork.

He proceeded to fuck up the perfectly balanced spices of his entire meal with the condiments and then daintily eat with his knife and fork as if his yebeg wot were plutonium in a glove box.

I wanted to pour his own hot sauce into his eyes.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 7:17 AM on December 3, 2008


SPAGETTABOUTIT!
posted by saul wright at 7:25 AM on December 3, 2008


Chicken and duck feet are both pretty good, but there's just not enough meat to them to make them worth the effort. It's kind of like eating legs of blue crabs or other small crabs -- not enough ROI to bother most of the time.
posted by notashroom at 7:26 AM on December 3, 2008


I'm not very good at eating natto because there's only so much GLUE I can ingest in one sitting.
posted by greasepig at 7:33 AM on December 3, 2008


I have to admit, I bring my de-noodled Phở to my mouth and slurp instead of using the broth spoon. Is that so wrong?
posted by anthill at 7:54 AM on December 3, 2008


Okay, I've done my best to sit on my hands up to now and resist moderating my own thread, but I thought I'd throw in just a couple of comments.

I included the spaghetti link, honestly, because of this AskMe question on eating Italian, where people actually suggested using a spoon with spaghetti. Spoon+spaghetti means you're doing it wrong, in my opinion.

That is a very crap way to eat chicken feet. I'm going to go out on a limb here and assume that those chicken feet were from a Caribbean joint. In which case, I'm guessing it was a very very delicious way to eat chicken feet, because every time I've eaten chicken from one of the Caribbean lunch trucks outside of the 30th station in Philly, it tastes like awesome.

The list of how to eats was not meant to be comprehensive, by the way. I was hoping people would contribute their own how-to-eats. I wanted to include a link to "How to eat fuul" but to my surprise looks like there isn't such a page on the internet yet. So, without further ado...

How to eat fuul

First of all, the best fuul is simply going to be in Egypt. Yep, can't beat being in Egypt for that real authentic Egyptian food experience. If you are the world traveler type, perhaps one time you make it there to see the pyramids. You'll want to know how to eat fuul like a local.

First, find a fuul cart on the street. This is not going to happen near touristic sites but should be easier to find elsewhere in the city. A good time is between noon and early afternoon. If it is a good one, it will be crowded with people. Politely push your way to the front and yell your order. As a novice, your best bet is the sandwich. Ask for "sandwich fuul". You can mix it up by asking for "fuul iskandrani" which is mixed with peppers, onions and tomatoes, or "fuul bil beyd" which means it is mixed with chopped eggs. If they are frying potatoes you should order these as well as they're totally delicious; ask for "batatis ma'lee". If you like your vegetables and they are available, fried hot pepper (filfil ma'lee) and eggplant (bitingan ma'lee) are both excellent addtions as well. If you want to eat like a real local, go for fuul in a bowl with aish baladi (country style wholewheat sourdough pita) on the side. Ask for an onion (baSal) and a hot pepper (filfil harr, I think...man my Egyptian's getting rusty) and munch on these (raw) as you pick up spoonfuls of the hot fuul. Show your approval by making a happy face and saying 'meyya meyya' (literally a hundred of a hundred [i.e. 100% good]). If you're too nervous about food poisoning to eat from a cart (perhaps a good point) there's nothing wrong with getting your fuul from a chain restaurant like Gad, although the bread will be aish shamy (white pita), not aish baladi.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:58 AM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


find a fuul cart on the street

Actually, I prefer the fuul on the hill. I'm sorry.
posted by uncleozzy at 8:04 AM on December 3, 2008


Stir the cafe suda.
But do not drink it.

posted by The Whelk at 8:32 AM on December 3, 2008


JoanArkham: I know how you're supposed to pronounce "pho" but I kind of feel pretentious doing it. Same with "bruschetta. "

It's not pretentious. It's polite. And I don't think that anyone's going to accuse you of putting on airs because you know how to pronounce the name of a $4 bowl of soup.
posted by cobra libre at 8:33 AM on December 3, 2008


These are pretty good but the spaghetti one comes off as unnecessarily snotty to me. Also, I can only take so seriously that there is a "right" way to eat things.
posted by proj at 8:36 AM on December 3, 2008


It's good to know I've been eating my pho exactly right, without any outside instruction. Mmmm tendons, tripe, fatty brisket, bo vien and all the rest! My man at Pho 75* doesn't even ask for the orders anymore - we just sit down, and 45 seconds later the bowls are there, just the way we like em.

*Herndon, VA ain't got much, except for the best pho in miles.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:58 AM on December 3, 2008


How to eat lobster.

How to eat lobster, super-condensed version: The shell is on the outside. The meat is on the inside. Reverse that. Don't eat the shell or anything that is a color that could be described as "Christmasy" or "festive."

PROTIPS:

* No one eats the tomalley. Everyone claims it's "a delicacy," but this is just to see if they can convince you to eat it. Don't. No one eats it. I have never seen anyone eat it, in 32 years of regular lobster consumption.

* The best meat is in the claws and the body. Especially the body, which hardly anyone actually picks through. It is not plentiful, but it is the best meat. You can tell by watching experts. They offer you their tomalley, but they also offer to take the bodies off your hands for you because "there's just a tiny bit more meat in there, hardly worth the effort to get at..." This is a huge clue.
posted by rusty at 9:07 AM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


The best meat is in the claws and the body

Hm, I've got to try to pick the body clean next time I have a lobster. I've been known to trade my tail for a couple of claws (erm...), but the lung-stuff always scares me away from the body.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:15 AM on December 3, 2008


I just want to say that the boy in the chicken feet video is very cute.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 9:42 AM on December 3, 2008


uncleozzy: My technique is to pull the body out of the upper body shell, scrape off whatever miscellaneous gunk is in there, and then chop it right in half lengthwise (like so one row of legs is on one side of the cut and the other is on the other side) with a good sharp knife. The meat chunks are in little cartilaginous cells along your cut -- really it's the topmost part of each leg, if that makes more sense. Anyway, a finger should easily be able to dig out each piece if you just work your way down the length of the body. Yum.

Lungs are leathery and squishy, and definitely not for eating. But they pull right off. And really, you've already cut out the thing's large intestine and colon, so scraping off a little bit of lung is rationally no big deal. :-)
posted by rusty at 9:56 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


They offer you their tomalley, but they also offer to take the bodies off your hands for you because "there's just a tiny bit more meat in there, hardly worth the effort to get at..." This is a huge clue.

Dad, is that you?

Actually...my dad eats the tomalley too. And all the extra bodies. And several whole lobsters.

I like the claws best too. In fact I would go so far as to say that I really like lobster claws and am not really a fan of lobster tail.

Lobster prices are low right now!
posted by lampoil at 10:17 AM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also my favorite food is clams. You should have seen my Indian mother-in-law's face when I showed her how to eat a steamer! Indian food is wicked normal compared to that, really when you think about it.
posted by lampoil at 10:21 AM on December 3, 2008


Lobster prices are low right now!

Aye. Those aren't claws ye be eatin'. Those are mens lives. Yarrr.
posted by rusty at 10:47 AM on December 3, 2008


Apparently "fufu-boy" means "fatty" in Sierra Leone.
posted by pinothefrog at 10:49 AM on December 3, 2008


*Herndon, VA

Whoa whoa whoa, the only Pho-75 I acknowledge is in Arlington.

I challenge you to a Pho-off!!!!!

Seriously thuh, I always wonder which meat to get in the Pho and since I only eat it at lunch alone I've never learned officially. So I usually get the Chin because I can pronounce it, and I'm pretty sure it's not actually from a Chin. Is that good?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:12 AM on December 3, 2008


How to eat natto:
  1. Gently push natto away.
  2. Do not eat natto.
posted by ocha-no-mizu at 11:59 AM on December 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


That pomegranate post is mine. Er, I mean, it's my weblog. I'm glad its useful. (Er... Is it useful? I hope so.)
posted by emptyage at 12:08 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Aye. Those aren't claws ye be eatin'. Those are mens lives. Yarrr.

Actually I am eating neither claws nor lives, which they tell me is the reason the prices are so low. So I guess that's even worse. But I'm not in Maine and there's no sense eating lobster in a place that is not Maine.

But maybe if more people knew how low the price is, more people would eat it, and then the price would go up a little. I mean it's kind of ironic that the prices have dropped because people are giving up what they think is a luxury item and now it practically costs less than the ground beef in the hamburger helper they're eating instead. But I guess most people don't go buy it by the pound and cook it themselves and even if restaurants are passing on the savings a little it's still an indulgence to go eat lobster in a restaurant.

Not that I have any idea what I'm talking about. But I'll try to have some lobster next time I'm home. Or clams. (Or both).
posted by lampoil at 12:13 PM on December 3, 2008


Everyone knows the best Phở 75 is in Falls Church.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:19 PM on December 3, 2008


There's also a Pho 75 in Philly. It's pretty good. Not sure exactly why, but I like Pho Ha better.
posted by Deathalicious at 1:15 PM on December 3, 2008


“First of all as a general rules, keep your hands on the table throughout the meal and no elbows,”

So, save the under table masturbation until you’ve finished eating, got it.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:26 PM on December 3, 2008


it is clean, hygienic, and eco-friendly to eat with your hands.

Fucking hippies.
posted by Nelson at 1:58 PM on December 3, 2008


Bibimbap for Roundeyes.
posted by HotToddy at 4:02 PM on December 3, 2008


Stop hating on natto. Remember when you were little and you wouldn't eat your peas 'cause they were green and round and generally gross looking and smelling? Then your mom told you they were dinosaur eggs and you were like "Hot damn! Dinosaur eggs! Yum!" and then you ate them happily? Natto is like that, it is the closest you can get to eating something that is completely not of this world, something unearthly, something that just should not exist. Some would agree that natto should not exist, but they're just too old and bitter to remember the joys of pretending your beans are alien spores.

Anyway, how to eat natto (because the link above left out the important steps that keep you from looking like a dumbass gaijin):

Cultural Context
- Natto is breakfast food served with rice, all other permutations are like having pancakes and gravy for lunch. Tasty, yes, but weird.
- Natto, like grits, is poor people food. It's what you ate if you were a feudal-era dirt farmer living in the interior of Honshu far from the rich lands of otoro and kobe steaks. This should be obvious when you realize natto is essentially half-rotten soy beans.

How To Eat Natto
- Open your single serving container of natto (Everything Japanese is individually wrapped within a larger package which is also wrapped in some sort of exterior packaging, and sold in a vending machine.)
- Using chopsticks, stir the natto vigorously. Depending on who you ask this either lessens the smell or activates the enzymes that make natto "healthy," or both. Either way, the end result is to make the natto extra gooey and slimy.
- When your natto resembles a frothy mass of mucus, plop it down on some rice.
- Add condiments. Soy sauce is pretty much a given, but mustard is common as well. I like my natto with both. Another wonderful addition is dried nori; with dextrous chopstick use you can make delicious little natto rolls to pop in your mouth.
- After you place the natto in your mouth, spiral your chopsticks (or other utensil) away from you in a "yes, go on..." kind of gesture. This breaks the strands of goo that are trailing off the natto like mozzarella on a hot slice of pizza.
- Wash your natto down with some genmai-cha.
- Rejoice, knowing that you have earned the respect of every Japanese person within sight, and that they will undoubtably reward you with a robot.
posted by Panjandrum at 4:08 PM on December 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


There's also a Pho 75 in Philly. It's pretty good. Not sure exactly why, but I like Pho Ha better.

I liked Pho Ha until the level of grime just got too ridiculous. I'm back to Pho75, unless it's too late -- the pho at Nam Phuong is perfectly acceptable and they're open later. I haven't been to Viet Huong for pho lately, but their goi cuon, and especially the accompanying peanut sauce, is better than everyone else's in the immediate vicinity.

Chicken and duck feet are both pretty good, but there's just not enough meat to them to make them worth the effort. It's kind of like eating legs of blue crabs or other small crabs -- not enough ROI to bother most of the time.

Blasphemy! And yeah, I'll eat those crab legs for you oh nom nom more for me thank you hand 'em over. I luv sitting next to people like you at a crab feast. Go fill up on shrimp, dear.

Also: How To Eat Persimmon
posted by desuetude at 5:42 PM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Rejoice, knowing that you have earned the respect of every Japanese person within sight, and that they will undoubtably reward you with a robot.

The only time I ate Natto in front of a Japanese person, he laughed at me for eating a laxative for old people.
posted by b1tr0t at 6:47 PM on December 3, 2008


Re artichokes, let me propose Hollandaise instead of mayonnaise. Melt a quarter pound of butter, whisk in an ounce of lemon juice and the yolk of one large egg, and gently heat just to 160°F/70°C. Lemony and buttery and awesome. Mmmm.

How to eat borsch: Slice brown bread. It should be part rye and part wheat, it should be sour, and it should be both dense and crusty—none of that pansy spongy pumpernickel stuff. Spread generously, almost excessively, with butter. Take bread in left hand. Take gigantic tablespoon in right hand. Admire fresh green herbs snipped over borsch. Admire rich magenta of broth. Admire bright white dollop of smetana (thick, sourish cream). Gently stir smetana into borsch with gigantic tablespoon. Admire purple-pink mixture. Taste borsch with gigantic tablespoon. Forget everything you ever thought about disliking beets. Devour borsch with gigantic tablespoon, alternating with bites of bread. Do not dip bread in borsch. Finish borsch, or any other soup, before proceeding to second course.

Next week, on How to Eat: Salo. How to Eat—only on the MeFi Network!
posted by eritain at 7:26 PM on December 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


eritain: i am trying to favourite you a 1000 times. MMM borsch. where's my grandma when you need her? Answer: Russia
posted by olya at 8:27 PM on December 3, 2008


Butter on the bread that goes with borsch? That just seems overly decadent.

Also, sometimes I break the bread up into pieces and throw them into the borsch.
posted by parudox at 8:52 PM on December 3, 2008


Blasphemy! And yeah, I'll eat those crab legs for you oh nom nom more for me thank you hand 'em over. I luv sitting next to people like you at a crab feast. Go fill up on shrimp, dear.
If I'm at a crab feast -- or crab boil, as we call them -- I'm there for the crab, thanks. At an event like that, there are lots of people with bibs, mallets, and newspaper, pounding and cracking and slurping and generally getting messy and having a grand old time. Save your shrimp for the kids and the squeamish.

A crab boil is a pretty far cry from being the one at the table in the restaurant who has food requiring considerable manipulation or generating messes of shells or bones, while around you everyone is quickly enjoying their po boys and gumbo or their shrimp 'n' grits or what have you and you're working through your crab, getting juice on your chin, and feeling a bit awkward for being the only one still eating when everyone else is perusing desserts or asking for the check, and in the end, you've only gotten maybe 4 oz. or so of crab meat for all that effort.
posted by notashroom at 7:02 AM on December 4, 2008


If I'm at a crab feast -- or crab boil, as we call them -- I'm there for the crab, thanks. At an event like that, there are lots of people with bibs, mallets, and newspaper, pounding and cracking and slurping and generally getting messy and having a grand old time. Save your shrimp for the kids and the squeamish.

Uh, I think we're agreeing? I'm from the Baltimore area. We have big, messy, juicy crab feasts. Piles and piles of steamed crabs heaped down the middle of long tables covered in newspaper.

Cheap beer is served in plastic cups, which we grab with grimy hands and also slurp. However, usually someone steams up a bunch of shrimp, too. Now, we loove our steamed shrimp, but at a crab feast, the shrimp are pretty much there for the kids and the squeamish or the "waah, too much work!" people. Who pick out some lump, declare the legs too much work, and fill up on shrimp, while I cheerfully eat all of their crab claws in addition to my own share of crabs.
posted by desuetude at 9:43 AM on December 4, 2008


am I the only Italian-American who learned to eat spaghetti with a spoon? OK, I'm only half Italian, but my father is full, and both of his grandparents came from Italy, and at least one set were alive when I was little. I remember I got to a certain age and my parents were like, OK you're too old not to learn this.

We ate with a spoon and saved the salad for last. So I don't see the problem with using the spoon. Perhaps it is a regional thing??
posted by evening at 9:46 AM on December 4, 2008


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