The dish I plan on making is longevity noodles, these are thinner noodles usually made out of wheat-flour. This dish can be added into a lot of different types of recipes, like adding different meats, soups, or sauces. The route I went is where you add a mixture of egg and parmesan cheese into a pot with noodles and bacon. It doesn't specifically say who makes the dish but I would guess probably the parents or older generation. These are noodles served on birthdays, the Chinese New Year, and sometimes funerals, they are served at these times to have good luck going into the new year ahead. And about them serving them at funerals, it really just depends on the person. It might seem a little weird to eat noodles that are supposed to promote a healthy life at a funeral. This could be because eating something that represents a long life at an event where we are someone has literally lost their life. So, you may think it’s completely taboo and others just go with the flow. The reasoning behind the “longevity” part comes from as far back to the Tang dynasty (618-907) where they would eat the noodles to increase fortune, happiness, and prosperity. I would assume that these noodles could be eaten by anyone but, mainly by the upper class. And it originally came “Holding up noodles with chopsticks while citing verses to wish the newborn of a bright future” (Zang). Longevity is also one of the most known ideals in Chinese culture, along with the philosophy for Taoism being “without life, there is no meaning, and therefore having a long life is everything” (Zang). This dish, the longevity noodles, is closely related to Taoism and Chinese culture. The ones that are eating this meal will have a good effect on your life will be. And this meal is a good and hearty meal for people to eat as you can add a lot of different meal items to it to apply to someone’s likes like vegetables or meats. Or maybe you add some spices to give the meal more life and a different flavor. Some interesting facts about it include, not cutting the noodles because that could relate to a shortened life-span. This makes sense because of how true the people of this culture take this, and cutting a noodle that represents long life would not be a good idea. The Chinese word for the noodles literally translates to long life noodle. And many different households respect the noodles in their own way that is important to them! The reason I personally chose this dish is because of my interest in the Chinese cultures. There is just something about how close everyone is there, their culture over there is all based on respect and like some people say manners cost nothing! Along with how many rules they have and how people are raised knowing those rules, why they are there, and the punishment for breaking them. I also have an interest in Chinese food, throughout my childhood I always loved rice and noodles no matter what. And as I’ve grown older I have expanded on the foods that I have tried. The older I got the more availability I can have to the better and more real Chinese food and one the things that is on my bucket list of things to do before I die is to go to China, or Japan. I think a trip to China would also expand my cultural toolbox and allow me to have a better view on different societies and cultures in the world.
The meal of longevity noodles is a very broad dish known by different names such as Yi mien, Shou mian, and many other names. Along with having different names the dish is used in many different styles containing different meats, and vegetables, along with being served in different meals completely. But the dish that is known for being eaten during the Chinese New Year is Longevity Noodles, which grant you a hearty and meaningful life. An article by Elena Zhang says that “Although noodles were invented well over 4000 of years ago in northwestern China, the idea of longevity noodles became popular sometime during the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907). In a poem, Tang Dynasty poet Liu Yuxi once wrote, ‘Holding up noodles with chopsticks while citing verses to wish the newborn of a bright future,’ implying a burgeoning tradition of eating noodles to celebrate a birthday.” Along with more from the article “Another story recalls how Emperor Xuan Zong and his wife endured a time of hardship during his reign in the Tang Dynasty. But even though resources were scarce, the empress was able to exchange a purple shawl for a bowl of longevity noodles to give to the emperor for his birthday.” A different article by Bill Daley adds to this by saying, “Noodles appear to have been woven into Chinese culture for ages. Archaeologists discovered in 2005 a buried container of noodles 4,000 years old. Yellow, and made of millet, the noodles looked similar to the hand-pulled Chinese wheat noodles still made today.”
The reasoning behind the “longevity” part comes from as far back to the Tang dynasty (618-907) where they would eat the noodles to increase fortune, happiness, and prosperity. And it originally came “Holding up noodles with chopsticks while citing verses to wish the newborn of a bright future,”. Longevity is also one of the most known ideal in the Chinese culture, along with the philosophy for Taoism being “without life, there is no meaning, and therefore having a long life is everything.” So, for how easy the dish is to make, it correlates with the time period in which it started along with the region. As to how this fits in to social, and environmental justice I really don’t see how this could affect either of them as it only takes flour and a couple of eggs kneaded together to make the dough and from there it is pretty simple.
Which is probably why it has been a staple in Chinese cultures as it takes little prep and not that many ingredients to make. The only way I could see this as a negative to environmental justice is if someone takes offense to how many eggs are needed to make the dough and how that could impact the chickens hatching the eggs.
As far as individual well-being the dish could be prepared to anyone’s likings, A quote from Bill Daley’s article states that,” Noodles are an easy-to-use staple food available in a mind-boggling array of shapes, sizes and textures. Noodles lend themselves to a variety of treatments, making it easy to include them in a New Year's feast. Slip silky strands of cellophane noodles into steaming bowls of soup; brown hand-cut ribbons of rice noodles to serve as a pillowy bed for all sorts of stir-fries; deep-fry squiggly wheat noodles until golden and crisp. ‘You always have noodles on birthdays or any festivities because they symbolize longevity,’ said chef Jackie Shen of Red Light restaurant.” That’s what I like about the variability and broadness about this dish. It can literally be fine-tuned to fit anyone’s appetite. Along with being very versatile, they are also good for the body and is a good filling meal. They say eating this meal will have a good effect on your life will be. And this meal is a good and hearty meal for people to eat. Some interesting facts about it include, not cutting the noodles because that could relate to a shortened life-span. This makes sense because of how true some people take this, and cutting a noodle that represents long life would not be a good idea. The Chinese word for the noodles literally translates to “Long Life Noodle”. While on the other hand instant noodles are not healthy for you as they contain a lot of sodium and could be bad if eaten everyday which is not a good idea. But along with well-being it’s a cheap meal, especially if you want to make it yourself as eggs and flour are not that expensive. And going back to the instant noodles they are especially cheap with a lot of different flavors and types of noodle, usually ranging under $3.
Social justice is also in the clear here as this meal can be made by just about anyone old enough to understand how to cook. Whether you are a man or woman you’re in the clear. Along with individual well-being the price of the meal comes back up for social justice as for a society this meal is very available to anyone. An article from Bill Daley says that “While cultures around the world all have carbohydrates as a daily staple, Cost said the Chinese were able to take various starches and make them "into this playful food that's always appealed to eaters." This shows just how common the meal is in our society. And lastly for religious freedom, I don’t see how this could affect anyone from just about every religion as even in its simplest state it is still just a bowl of noodles, but it also has the ability to be adapted to most cultures that can have meat. And that is what’s great about this meal is how broad and the amount of variety it has.
So, in conclusion the meal Longevity noodles is a meal of very different options with different tastes and flavors. But the availability of it allows this meal to be adapted to about just every person in any religion, which is why I like the meal so much and why I chose it.
Black, Annie, et al. “Happy Birthday, Longevity Noodles.” Pastemagazine.com, www.pastemagazine.com/articles/2016/07/happy-birthday-longevity-noodles.html.
Daley, Bill. “Threads of History.” Chicago Tribune, Chicago Tribune, 24 Mar. 2009, www.chicagotribune.com/chi-chinese-noodles-6feb6-story.html.
1. For this you need to gather the ingredients, for me I chose to go a different path where I kind of customized my meal. So, this is what I got
2. Next you can do either of two things, I had my mother there so I was able to do one thing while she did the other.
3. For what I did was grate about 1 ½ cups of parmesan cheese, along with putting whole eggs along with 1 egg yolk. And then mixing them together to make the “sauce”
4. While I was doing that I my mother was chopping up some thick bacon strips into little pieces that could easily mix into the pasta
5. After that is done all you need to do is start boiling the pasta
6. As soon as the pasta is done you need to take the noodles out of the pot and put them into a pot with the bacon and bacon grease and start mixing the 2 of them together quite well. And when you have done that you mix the egg and parmesan mix into the pot as well. While doing this add in water from the pot where you cooked the noodles in.
7. After this you just add the desired amount of black pepper and more cheese, the reason not to add any salt is because of how salty the bacon will be.
8. And then finally plate it up and enjoy!
Now I know that this dish is not a Chinese dish, but I decided to make this variation because of my love for Italian food. But I still think this dish could qualify for a longevity noodles dish, because of the heartiness of the dish.
While I was cooking this, I was having a blast. Growing up my father would always cook us meals and have us help so I was very used to doing this. Along with that I also grew up watching cooking shows and different completions that revolved around cooking but probably my favorite cooking movie ever is “Chef”. I loved this movie so much when I first saw it that I had to go back and watch it 2 more times! So, you could say growing up I had a love for cooking
This was also the first meal I’ve cooked in our new kitchen as we have just moved so it was a little of a different experience but I had fun.
The smell was amazing, it was a rich kind of salty aroma that smelled truly amazing. Plus, I love all types of cheese with parmesan so that made it better!
Along while all of the cooking I was listening to some classic music with songs ranging from the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, and some older Disney songs. Me and my mom had a great and fun time while cooking this meal.
Thankfully nothing went to wrong as we both had a grasp on what we were doing and it was pretty successful.
One thing I could see some people not liking about my dish is how I had used bacon in my meal that I made. Now this isn’t the original, because I had decided to make a different variation of the dish. So, the bacon could be one disagreement, but there is a simple solution. Just make the original dish.
So, when I first decided to make the dish of longevity noodles or Yi mien I ran into a few problems. First, the dish was way too simple that it was used everywhere so it made it hard to pinpoint its specific dish origin. And second the dish just by itself which is just noodles, doesn’t really have anything in it that would offend anyone. So, I decided to take it into my own hands to add stuff to the dish that some cultures would either find offensive or repulsive. I decided to make a variation somewhere along the lines of a pasta carbonara, since the dish of longevity noodles is just the noodles I wanted to make it fit to my wants which is the great part of this dish.
The parts of my addition that would make it controversial are when I first, mixed cheese with meats, then as a meat I chose bacon (pork), and I think the way that this meal or ingredient (noodles) is used today it has lost some of its religious power that It would have if it were only eaten during religious times. With how I plan on how to offend certain people with this dish, I will now go into who and why this will offend people.
First, the mixing of meat and cheese. This part of the meal would mean that people of the kosher Jewish community would not be able to eat the dish. This would because of how they would have to first eat only kosher food items, meaning that they are processed and made in a different “nicer” way for the animal, meaning that "The respect of the life of the animal is our ideal in the practices of kashrut"(Kideckel) . And second a quote from the Jewish Community Center explains that “According to Jewish tradition (Talmud Chullin 113b), the Hebrew word g'di (kid goat) is understood to mean any young domestic animal—not only a kid goat. The repetition of the verse teaches us that it is not only forbidden to cook meat and milk together, but it's also forbidden to then eat or derive benefit from the mixture. In fact, the Torah forbids the cooking, eating and benefit of the meat of any kosher domesticated animal, in any kosher milk. The Torah simply gives an example of a "kid in its mother's milk" because that was common practice in ancient times.”(jccmb.com) So, from this they would obviously not be able to eat the dish.
The second factor would be the decision to use bacon (pork) in my dish. This would affect people from Muslim communities. There are 3 main reasons why they refrain from eating pork. There are prohibitions from it in early scriptures, some examples are “And the swine, though he divide the hoof, and be cloven footed, yet he cheweth not the cud; he is unclean to you”. “Of their flesh shall ye not eat, and their carcass shall ye not touch, they are unclean to you.” [Leviticus 11:7-8] “And the swine, because it divideth the hoof, yet cheweth not the cud, it is unclean unto you. Ye shall not eat of their flesh, nor touch their dead carcass.” [Deuteronomy 14:8]
Next is the origin of the animal, the main reason for pigs in our ecosystem is a scavenger role, although in certain countries the pigs could be of a different breed where they are cleaner and kept in nicer holding pens and not as dirty.
And the final reason is the health aspects of eating pork, and excerpt from whyislam.org says that “Research has shown correlation between pork consumption and several diseases. Eating pork can expose the individual to various helminthes (worms) like roundworm, pinworm and hookworm. One of the most dangerous of worms is Taenia Solium, which, in lay man’s terminology is called the pork tapeworm. It harbors in the intestine and is very long. Its ova i.e. eggs, enter the blood stream and can reach almost all the organs of the body. If it enters the brain it can cause memory loss. If it enters the heart it can cause heart attack, in the eye it can cause blindness, and in the liver it can cause liver damage. It can damage almost all the organs of the body."
And finally, my last reason is one that was brought up in class when we talked about Miller's Fried Chicken and Church passage and how a meal (chicken) used to be religious but with the mainstream use of chicken used in any meal as a lean meat with little fat. So, I think that that same analogy could be used with this meal as noodles have become very common as a meal especially now a days. Just think about all of the cheap variations’ that could be bought from the store and be ready to eat in just 3 minutes, compared to the real thing which would have more benefits. But with the mainstream use of noodles this meal has lost its religious power in my opinion.
So as you can see these reasons vary from, religious freedom, environmental justice, well-being, to social-justice. But they all have their own justifications about why they are in those groups. The use of meats in any meal nowadays can be risky because of religious rules or maybe their vegans and just cannot eat the meat. While at the same time, the Jewish community has been eating kosher foods for a very long time and it has become easier for them to find a variety of foods that are kosher now. So, as you can see some rules are new and being adopted and others have been around for very long time
Kideckel, Earl, and JewishBoston. “Are Kosher Animals Treated Humanely?” JewishBoston, 13 Nov. 2012, www.jewishboston.com/are-kosher-animals-treated-humanely/.
Tech@whyislam.org. “Why Do Muslims Abstain from Pork?” WHY, www.whyislam.org/faqs/restrictions-in-islam/why-do-muslims-abstain-from-pork/.
“Why Don't We Eat Milk and Meat?” Jewish Community Center, 28 Oct. 2010, www.jccmb.com/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/1339531/jewish/Milk-and-Meat.htm.
My relationship with my dish though was kind of a struggle. I started off wanting to make the dish of “Longevity Noodles”. So, I just tried to cover the dish at its simplest, thick noodles with a broth, usually a hearty meal. And I love Japanese and Chinese culture, which is why I was drawn to this dish. Growing up I loved ninjas and samurais, and as I grew older I just enjoyed looking at Japanese art, as the colors and way they made the paintings fascinated me. And I love their food so that was another reason. After I made the dish I realized how hard it is to actually make fresh noodles and how much practice must go into it to have the perfect noodles every time, and the love and passion they put into their cooking. This dish was not new to me at all, growing up I would love to go to the Chinese buffet but as I grew older I realized that wasn’t the best food I could have, and that there was better Japanese and Chinese food that at a buffet (who knew?!?) So, my father and I would go to more expensive authentic Japanese food which I love even more, and threw this process I learned the dedication their culture has to perfection. I think that here in the Midwest it is difficult to eat food of this culture frequently as it is more on the expensive side, and usually not the best for you. But I think if I were to move to Japan you would definitely find me eating a meal of this category every day. I think this is a religious meal to me, because of when I eat it. My mom who is divorced from my dad dislikes Japanese food, so whenever I get to see my dad (not a lot) we eat it because we both like it a lot. For me this holds more of a religious value to me like I said because of its availability to me, it’s like eating expensive meat on a holiday for me