Thursday, September 25, 2014

Only in China: Opium in Noodle Soup?

By Asia Pop Culture

We always know that some tasty food items are addictive in that you can't stop eating at just one piece, for example, potato chip in America, Stinky Tofu (臭豆腐) for Chinese on both coasts of Taiwan Strait, and dried shredded squid in Taiwan (a must for after work beer drinking).  But now CNN published a very disturbing story about how noodles at one restaurant in China are very literally addictive as they are aced with opium poppy.  

CNN reports:
A Chinese noodle vendor in northern Shaanxi province has been detained for 10 days after admitting he added powdered poppy plant — from which opium is made --- to his dishes to keep customers coming back ......The owner said that he bought 4 catty (2kg) of the substance for 600 yuan ($98) in August. He said he added it to his food to make it taste better and to improve his business
This would have been going on (like forever) if the police did not just happen to stop a customer (who just finished a noodle meal at the restaurant not long ago) and did a drug test on him.  So that poor guy was tested positive for opium and jailed for 15 days.  Fortunately, he was released after his family members bravely ate the noodle at the same restaurant and also tested positive for the drug.

MSG, when used in cooking and food, has long been known to have the appetizing effect on human (and thirsty as hell afterwards) which is a popular way for restaurants to cut cost and increase revenue.  Noodle is possibly one of the most popular and versatile Chinese food items.  However, lacing opium in noodle to increase sales is just going too far on a whole new different level.      

Sharing with readers below is a pic of Taiwan's Cold Sesame Noodle (麻酱麵), one of my forever fav dishes.  After so many years in the U.S., I have not been able to find a restaurant that can make truly good Sesame noodle yet. Sigh......