Category Archives: Summer Blog Entry 2

Web Post 2

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Dr. Christine Ristaino

Dr. Hong Li

Yibo Wu

7/5/16

 

The article we read about was the introduction part of the book Eating Culture. In the introductory chapter, it mainly discusses three types of ethnographical fieldwork method that anthropologists use in food studies.

The first method is participant observation. Basically, it is the method that anthropologists fit into the cultural background and do what the observed do. Prepare and cook and serve food as the locals did. This will help the outsiders acquire a quite accurate etic perspective, which is the perspective from the outside. However, this pattern could make the observers come up with a relatively biased emic perspective, which is the view from the insiders. The reason it is biased when come to the emic perspective is that although the observers live with the observed and do what they did, the observers are still sitting inside their own cultural background, they still think like themselves before. That might cause the point extracted from the participant observation method biased.

The second method anthropologists used in food study field works is the interview method. Interview, as it defined in the chapter, is a useful way in food studies. The anthropologists just simply raise questions to the locals thus gaining insider’s perspective. Through the answers, anthropologist could extract accurate information from the locals about thing like different roles played in food preparation. Also, the field workers observations to the group will help to build up a complete outsiders perspective. This method enables the anthropologists to still think inside their own cultural background while gaining unbiased knowledge for the emic point of view.

The last method listed in the article was comparison. This sort of method will provide the anthropologists a broader range to access to two totally different culture and see what the same is and what the differences are. For the previous 2 methods, it was all about the anthropologists’ culture and the observed culture. However, this method gives the third culture a place to get compared and contrast with the 2 original cultures.

The one type of method that resonate me the most was the interview method. The city that I am from was famous for its noodles called Hui Mian. The noodle was formed with three different parts, the soup base, the noodle and the toppings. The soup base, always using fresh lamb, braised and stewed for five hours with traditional Chinese spices will finally appear to be a milky white color and fragrant smell. The noodles, different from other noodles, were hand pulled and stretched from a dough and turn into a 5 cm wide and 0.5 cm thick noodle slice. Then the toppings are always made up by giant sliced of lamb meat, quail eggs, tofu skins, cilantro and skin noodles. This delicacy made my childhood and youth. I would go to the restaurant every week at least one time. After I went to the United States for studying, I could not find decent Hui Mian due to the lack of my hometown people here. So I was very disappointed until one day, I found a Chinese restaurant which serves Hui Mian, so I ordered it and turns out it was great. After several times I have been there, I was more than curious to see who was the chef that made the great bowl of noodle. It turns out that the chef was an old lady from my hometown, since we were from the same city, we soon became close friends and she decided to teach me in the kitchen. She took out an old recipe which seems to be falling apart and let me read through all the details, then she showed me the processes. I was astonished by her craftsmanship, every detail, every process was being made absolutely perfect. Then I asked her about some questions and attitudes toward the food. The answers solved all my curiosity and conveyed to me her personality and the way she treats food. By interviewing the old lady about the recipe, I not only learned how the dish was made, but also learned the person and the cultural background she represented.

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Noodle Narrative

1) What is your name and age? Where do you live?

My name is Grace Seongmee Kweon and I am 51 years old. I am currently living in Connecticut.

2) When did you come to the United States?

I came to the United States in 1991, about 25 years ago and settled in New Orleans, Louisiana.

3) What was your first American cuisine experience like?

My first American cuisine experience was eating a whopper at Burger King. There weren’t such things as hamburgers in Korea, so it was a very different experience, but it was really delicious. But, I was really shocked by the size of it and how many calories there were. Everything in America was so much bigger in terms of size. The same small size in Korea is a lot smaller. I remember ordering a small coke, but I couldn’t finish it in one meal because there was too much.

The most memorable food was clam chowder. We came to America through San Francisco and it was a really interesting taste. To this day, I still love clam chowder and have it every now and then.

4) Did the culture change affect your diet?

When I lived in Korea, I ate rice for three meals, breakfast, lunch and dinner. As a main meal, I would eat small side dishes with it. In Korea, meat is very expensive and wasn’t affordable so my family and I ate a lot of fish and vegetables. It was a very healthy diet.

Having lived in America for a while now, I find myself eating a lot more carbs, like bread, anything made with flour. Everything is cheaper and in bigger portions; my diet has become very unhealthy and am pre-diabetic right now. I am working to eating healthier and exercising more.

5) What difficulties do you come across in making Korean dishes?

In the beginning, it was hard to get ingredients, difficult to find Korean or Asian markets. However the Asian community has been expanding these days, and now you can find Asian markets almost anywhere, making it a lot more convenient to go grocery shopping.

6) What role does the noodle play in your cooking?

In Korean cuisine, we eat noodles as main dishes, side dishes, and appetizers. Similar to pasta dishes as main dishes, there are many main noodle dishes that I make for my family. There are cold noodles and hot noodles as well. There are also noodle dishes that I make as side dishes that are eaten with rice. On some occasions, noodles can also be eaten as appetizers, kind of like noodle salads. I don’t just prepare the same noodles in the same manner; sometimes it’s the main dish and other days it might be a minor dish.

a) Can Korean cuisine “exist” without noodles?

Yes, because for us, rice is the main meal and many other side dishes that aren’t noodles can be paired with it.

b) Are there any noodles made specifically for holidays? Any traditions?

During weddings, noodles are typically eaten to celebrate one’s marriage. There’s a saying, translated, “When will you eat noodles?” which means “When will you get married?” Because noodles are long, they symbolize a long life and happy marriage.

Also, when a baby turns a year old, families and friends are invited to a big celebration. The first birthday is the most important celebrated special day. During the celebration, the baby is placed in front of different items: microphone, soccer ball, noodle, money, etc. Each item symbolizes their future; if a baby grabs the noodle, it means he or she will live a long life.

7) What is your favorite noodle dish? How do you make it?Japchae_4271

My favorite noodle dish is japchae. You first boil the noodle and wash it with cold water. Then you dice up vegetables such as carrots, onions, mushrooms, beef, eggs, and spinach. The sauce is made with soy sauce, pepper, salt, and sesame oil. You mix it all together and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.

a) What is your favorite noodle dish to make?

REW17_13605My favorite dish that I like to make is called bibingmyeon. It’s like the noodle version of bibimbap where instead of mixing rice with stir-fried vegetables, you mix cold noodles with “raw vegetables. It’s a spicy dish mixed with hot pepper paste that Koreans really like. And I love making it because it is my husband’s favorite dish and whenever we have family/friend gatherings, it’s always a crowd pleaser. The dish gives you kicks of sweetness, sourness, bitterness and spiciness all in one bite.

I also love making a dish called kongguksu, which is named for the bean that is used to make the soup base. It is a hard process where I have to grind the bean콩국수s together with sesame seeds and then strain all of the excess paste to get the soup base as smooth and clear as possible. Even though it’s a hard process, I put all of my muscle and love into it and just enjoy my husband and daughters smiling and eating the noodles so deliciously.

8) In your opinion, where did noodles originate from?

From history, I learned it as the Chinese first cultivating wheat and following the Silk Road, distributing and buying goods, spreading out to Europe and other parts of Asia. On the west of China, flour was used more for making bread, while on the east side, flour was used to make noodles.

9) Do you think Korean restaurants in America are pretty authentic or more Americanized?

Many restaurants are managed by Korean owners, so I feel that they are pretty authentic. There are however, a lot of Americanized fusion Korean restaurants that have been rising in communities. The most popular fusion cuisine is Korean/Mexican where you get tacos and burritos stuffed with Korean-style meat and stuffing.

a)What do you think of these fusion cuisines?

I think it’s great that they’re changing it up to match the tastes for American people. It may not be authentic Korean food, but it helps get Korean cuisine known better little by little.

10) Has Korean food had any foreign influences affecting the cuisine?

Japanese cuisine has had some influence on Korean foods that are popular today. During the war days, rice was pretty scarce and all people could afford were Japanese ramen. Today there are so many flavors of ramen and once in a while, it’s delicious to eat. A really well-known noodle dish in Korea is called maxresdefaultjjajangmyun. The original black bean paste originated from China and the Koreans adopted a similar bean paste and mixed it with noodles.

11) Have you ever wanted to open a restaurant?

No, the business aspect of managing a restaurant seemed difficult for me and I really just enjoy cooking for my family and making them happy and that’s all that matters.

 

 

 

 

#Domain Entry 2: The Participant Observation Method

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A very important part of researching about new cultures, or exploring anything remotely unknown is in the way in which we experience it. For example when we travel we eat the native cuisine, drink local beverages and enjoy the feel of the place as an outsider peering inside. However, I feel that if we really want to dissect the cuisine considering all of the sociological, and cultural aspects we need to be a part of it in such a way that we are also considered native.

Living in what is sometimes called one of the food capitals of India, Kolkata, I have had a very hands-on experience with food. All my life I have been surrounded with foods from different cultures, different parts of the sub-continent and the world, and mostly the unique and absolutely delicious treats which the city is famous for. Being a part of this environment, where Muslims ate biryani in a restaurant right beside Bengalis eating ‘Paanta’ bhaat, and knowing the reason why the two different cultures cooked rice in two different ways yet eat at the same place pushed me towards the participant observation method. It got me thinking that I needed to be involved in the culture if any of my research was to ever discover the distinctive and idiosyncratic practices of the foreign culture.

biryani

curd-rice

Participant Observation is a method of fieldwork that provides the most qualitative research results. It allows one to be a part of the whole culture while being there and therefore provides a kind of objectivity to another culture. Human beings tend to relate the other culture to their own background to give them a clearer picture of the alien environment and that is where participant observation plays the most important role. This method allows you to learn and reciprocate recipes and formulas dating back a few hundred years, which would never have been a part of discussion if the method of fieldwork were to be an interview.

Interviews, might give insight into the person, his lifestyle and maybe the culture but participant observation allows you to be a part of it and experience it for yourself, allowing you to have your own opinion and perspective on the practices of the new culture. Participation observation also allows questions to be asked while the tasks are being conducted thus allowing room to gain the necessary background insight into the day to day lives of the people and also their ancestors.

The recipe I would have liked to use in the participant observation method is the Long Life noodle recipe. Conducting research into the recipe with this method of fieldwork will allow me to see how it is made and prepared, while trying to do so myself. While at the task I would ask my hosts questions about the recipe, like why do they use those particular ingredients and why only in those specific quantities. It would be interesting to know if the ingredients put into the dish would have some medicinal or herbal qualities that benefit the human body. Also at the end the best part about this method of fieldwork is trying some for myself, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Professors’ feedback about blog entry #2

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Dear students,
We were thrilled with your second Domain entries and continue to be impressed with your insights, creativity, and investment in the material.

In this Domain entry you reflected upon the ethnographic fieldwork methods and applied them to your proposed research on the noodle recipes or other food items. We were impressed with your depth of understanding of the methods and your thoughtful probes as “anthropologists”. We particularly enjoyed those entries that included specific information on how you would analyze the noodle recipe (and/or other recipes). We also appreciated the supporting materials many of you included in your entries, such as pictures, videos, and links, etc.

Below are some suggestions for future entries.

  1. Please be sure to submit your entries on time on Domain. If you still have technical difficulties uploading your entries, please let us know as soon as possible.
  2. Please include a meaningful title for your entries and write your names below the titles. We are having a difficult time identifying the authors of the entries.
  3. Please read the instructions for each entry before writing them.
  4. When describing how you would use a fieldwork method to examine a food item, please think about the specific goals/aims, i.e., what exact you hope to accomplish? This will serve to guide you in your participatory activities and your methods for analyzing the data.

Thanks again for your great work and your creativity! We are enjoying the class!

Our best, Hong and Christine

Fieldwork in Food Culture

In Anthropology, fieldwork proves to be the major foundation of research. Having conducted my own fieldwork in a variety of different research projects, using many methods, some of which include participant-observation and interviews. It is important to remember that when deciding on which methods to use for fieldwork, there are pros and cons to every method, and these pros and cons will differ based on the research. Crowther describes participant-observation as “trying to gain an insider’s or emic perspective on a culture and simultaneously apply an outsider’s or etic perspective to draw wider conclusions about how the culture and society works” (xxi). Thus, an outsider must study the insider’s culture through actions and observations. Like Crowther, I believe participant-observation is the primary method that should be used when learning about a different culture’s food because much can be learned from the entire process: the choice of ingredients, the preparation of the ingredients, the cooking, the presentation, the eating, and the clean up.

The Complete Noodle Narrative

When you want to learn about a topic, do you simply type a phrase into the Google search engine? Do you ask your parents because they seem to know everything? Do you look up the topic in an encyclopedia? There are lots of ways to research your topic of interest. Knowing you have all of these resources, you must then decide which resource or combination of resources will best suit your purposes. Sociologists and anthropologists have three primary methods of conducting ethnographic research: participant-observation, interview, and comparison. Before impmlementing any of these methods to examine the Chinese long-life noodles recipe, we must first gain a thorough understanding of each of the three research methods and the potential pros and cons of each. Participant-observation: The researcher participates in a society’s customs and rituals giving them first hand experience. Based on this experience and outside knowledge the researcher is able to draw meaningful conclusions about a society and how said society functions. This method has its advantages and disadvantages. Of course one huge advantage is the researcher’s ability to gain an emic perspective on the culture being studied. However, a drawback from this research method would be the time needed to gain a sufficient amount of knowledge from multiple perspectives to be able to make an adequate assessment of the society being studied. Interview: The interview method sounds pretty simple, but there are a few additional aspects of the interview method beyond the simple Q&A sessions. Especially when studying things like culinary tradition, building a genealogy could be helpful for analyzing how the social construct of the family influences mealtime practices and vice versa. One advantage of the interview method of conducting research is that the interviewer can catch verbal and non-verbal cues. On the other hand, a disadvantage is that the quality of the interview and the information gathered depends on the skill of the interviewer and the willingness of the interviewee. Comparison: The comparison method is based upon trying to draw similarities from many different cultures to form what Gillian Crowther, the author of the book Eating Culture: An Anthropological Guide to Food, calls “higher-level generalizations”. One clear disadvantage of the comparison method is that cultures evolve over time so these comparisons would not stand. Though these comparisons may not last the test of time, they are still helpful to observe how one society evolves in response to nearby peoples or as populations within a society changes. An advantage David Levinson points out is that the person who collects the data and the person who compares the data are likely two separate people, which protects studies from bias for or against their theories. When I first read the introduction of the book Eating Culture: An Anthropological Guide to Food, I thought that the best research method was the participant-observation method because I was always taught that primary sources were the most reliable. Therefore, I thought what could be more reliable than personal experience? As I continued to ponder this question, I realized that personal accounts, though definitely valuable, could be limited. It is difficult to be able to experience a society from each individual’s perspective by the participant-observation method. Therefore, I believe that a combination of participant observation and interview would yield the best pool of information from which meaningful conclusions could be drawn. When looking to the Chinese long-life noodle recipe, I think the combination of participant-observation and interview would be most valuable to gather useful information. If I was the researcher studying the Chinese long-life noodle recipe, the first thing I would do is eat the noodle bowl in various settings—at a party, at home, at a restaurant. Next, I would participate in the making of the noodles themselves, or at the very least watch someone make the noodles. I’ll just wash the dirty dishes. Then, I would proceed by interviewing various people surrounding the noodles. In the book, Crowther suggested that life stories fabricated around culinary traditions can help researchers gain an idea of how these traditions are passed on from generation to generation and how each member of the family fits into the tradition. I would first interview the noodle-maker, then the immediate family, and finally extended family and some friends. I think this would give me the most broad scope and the best variety of data from which I can fill in gaps in stories and paint a clear image of my own. Thus the noodle narrative is complete. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9aW0imUEz70  

Fieldwork Method: Participant-observation

Food has served as a centerpiece cross cultures since the beginning of human civilization. Sacred traditions, rituals, and customs have erected in groups based on foods and the act of eating. Social anthropologists have taken to investigating the eating habits of communities in order to delve further into understanding its habitants. The holistic study of food is necessary to become informed on a group of people. The approaches which may be used to analyze vary in style. The three approaches to research are participant-observation, interview, and comparison. Personally, I believe participant-observation to be best in educating oneself, due to the intimate nature of it.

Participant-observation is entering into a culture and gaining an insider perspective through direct interaction with the people. Working within a code of ethical practices, the researcher experiences hands-on-activities to learn of the culture’s culinary tradition. Tasks can range from helping with food getting to cooking and cleaning. It presents a unique activity opportunity to learn about a group’s food practices by actually participating in the traditions that surround it. Rather learning from the written text of a comparison study or a video of interviews with the people, instead one has the chance to absorb material from their own senses. To feel, smell, and taste the food while engaging in the process better store the memory of the event and allows for a more personal take.

Through my time of studying Chinese, I have experienced in some form all three approaches in learning the language. The events which resonated most with me are the ones that involved direct involvement into a cultural activity. An example of this was when we learning about the Mid-Autumn Festival. The Festival falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month. This is the time when the moon is at its fullest and brightest. The traditional food for the mid-autumn festival is the moon cake. Moon cakes are round shaped pastries infused with some sort of sweet filling. They are seen as a cultural that symbolizes reunion with family. My Chinese class participated in the making of moon cakes from scratch, from rounding the dough to carving in designs on top of the cake. It was not only a fun experience, but also educational in learning more about such a crucial part of the holiday. I see this experience relating to the fieldwork method of participant-observation, engaging in a cultural activity to understand more about its importance.

包月餅餡料製作圖 How To Make Mooncakes02

The experience I had in making moon cakes is directly applicable to the Italian paste recipe and life-long noodles recipe. Both dishes are a significant cultural element to their respective cultures. To best understand these dishes, I would go through the steps of actually making the recipes and consuming it. The approach of participant-observation reveals a personal aspect to the food that the other two methods lack. In addition to the special act of making the food, the fetching of ingredients and tools used in the cooking promotes further interaction with the cultures. Especially, if one is to visit a traditional market for the goods then there is greater indulging into the heritage. My preference to participant-observation largely surface around it being the most personable approach. I feel there is no better way to connect with a culture then becoming immersed into their traditions and customs.

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The Interview Method

The interview method is the one that most closely resonates with me because I believe that a personal connection to the interviewee is key to uncovering vital information. Especially in the context of food, which can be such a nostalgic and emotional element for people, if I were to interview someone about food, I would make sure to ask questions that gleaned their connection to the food. While it may be difficult to not lead the interviewee in a certain direction with questions, it is certainly important to lead them to describe their relation to the food. It is possible that the interviewee does not completely understand their connection to a certain food or recipe and the interviewer’s questions may help bring them a new understanding or viewpoint of how they approach that now.

If I were to interview someone who was cooking or telling me about the Long-Life Noodles recipe, I would first ask how they came about making or eating this dish. Perhaps this would be a connection to a family event where the dish was made or a certain friend that showed them the recipe. This would help provide background or a basis to how this recipe connects to the interviewee. Then, I would ask what they recipe means to them; while this is broad, the recipe may have a special meaning to them, like reminding them of a person or event in their life. At the same time, I think it would be important to tell the interviewee about my connection because that might give both of us a new perspective on what the recipe means. Specifically, the Long-Life Noodles are served at many celebrations and events, and the long noodles are representative of the hope that we have long lives. In a cyclical sense, if we eat the Long-Life Noodles and live longer, then we can keep eating more Long-Life Noodles at more celebrations. I would ask the interviewee whether they believe in the symbolism of Long-Life Noodles; whether or not they do, that metaphor for long life is demonstrative of how food can act as so much more that just food. The interviewee’s answer to their feelings about this symbolism may also offer insight into how they perceive food in general as an emotional or spiritual symbol. Finally, I would ask the interviewee about their favorite memory involving this dish because I think that story would indicate what about the dish makes the interviewee happy and this would be a true connection between them and the dish. Even more so than the first experience with the dish because their retelling of their favorite experience will definitely bring out the true emotions and feelings about their connection to the dish.

Participant-Observation Approach (Post II)

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Growing up in multiethnic immigrant family was hectic, especially as Spanish and English were often competing for airtime in my household. My father, a gringo through and through, would engage my siblings and I in conversations dominated by English vocabulary and grammar, whilst my mother, a Honduran immigrant, would speak almost exclusively in Spanish. In this bilingual environment, I was able to actively participate and learn the rules (and societal mannerisms) of speaking two different languages without requiring a textbook. Furthermore, I was able to observe how these words and phrases were articulated, especially in the context of body language and tone of voice. Similarly, the “participant-observation” fieldwork approach has the most influence on how I examine the relationship between food and society.
The exposure the participant-observation method gives is most informative to me because it is difficult to fully contextualize cultural practices, especially in regards to food, as there are many nuances that encompass said practices. For example, for me to understand the significance of baking rosca da reyes during Epiphany (or ‘Three Kings’ Day’) in Latin America, a textbook would not suffice. Rather, watching my mother and abuela bake the pastry and have conversation about religion has enabled me to understand that this is a special bread: it is a symbol of the existing influence Spanish Catholicism maintains on Latin American culture. My ability to passively engage in observation has allowed me to understand how Spanish culture has encouraged or discouraged Latin American individualities, especially in regards to food.

Similarly, active participation in creating and consuming food has allowed me to learn old traditions of my culture as well as allow me to create new ones of my own. Three days before Christmas Eve, my mother, my abuela, my aunts, and I all participate in making homemade tamales. Since our family is large, it requires much manual labor and interdependence upon one another to make sure enough tamales are made (as well as to accommodate those who have specific food preferences, etc.). When I was younger, I was responsible for kneading the corn mix (it resembles dough). At first my tamales were lumpy and strangely shaped, but over time (and with the help of technology) my ability to properly knead tamales has improved. Furthermore, during this time, I have learned the different abilities of all the women in the kitchen: for example, my mother prefers to use certain types of beef compared to my aunt, whilst my abuela prefers the traditional usage of pork over beef or chicken. These may not seem like important differences, but in our household they often led to discussions of ‘Honduran traditions’ versus ‘Americanized traditions’. Thus, the participant-observation approach is quite successful in allowing individuals to see beyond the process of making food itself, but also to understand the cultural symbolism that affects its creation.

In regards to the Life Long Noodles recipe, I would implement the participant-observation method in order to not only learn how to actually make the noodle, but to also understand the cultural importance behind the noodle. Active participating in making the noodle allows for one to ponder the steps behind making the noodle (i.e., “why is this particular ingredient used? Could is be due to geographical constraints?”). Since I have very limited experience in cooking Chinese cuisine, I would definitely engage experienced individuals from different regions and watch their efforts to see if there are general patterns (or not). While we may not know it, when we engage in certain tasks (such as cooking culturally significant foods), we undertake certain behaviors and temperaments, thus it would be interesting to observe changes in personalities in the kitchen. The Life Long Noodles recipe is such a unique recipe that I would very much like to interact with those that have cultural ties in creating the noodle.
Thus, in order to better understand the many cultures and perspectives of those around us, the participant-observation method (in my opinion) is one of the most helpful approaches to earnestly engage in active learning.

A Taste For Noodles

Linguine, spaghetti, penne, chow mein, ramen. The ubiquitous noodle is undoubtedly the highlight of many dishes in both Italian and Chinese cuisine. Without that chew and bite from the noodle that is present in every mouthful, these dishes would be left bare and would not be as satisfying. Being that the noodle has so much purpose in these dishes, it becomes evident that delving deeper into the making of the noodle, its origins and its consumption, is essential to fully grasp its value in both Italian and Chinese cultures. In order to gain further knowledge about the noodle and its significance, I would suggest one use the participant-observation method. images In order to fully understand the noodle and its importance to the outcome of many dishes, one must first gather as much information as possible regarding its construction. This information would allow one to gain further insight into the heritages and cultures of Italy and China. From the dusting of the flour to the kneading of the dough to the shaping of the noodle and finally to its serving and consumption, an observer would need to gain hands on experience in order to appreciate the outcome which is the dish highlighted by the noodle. Every single step is as important as the other to make the noodle dishes possible. Great care is taken when making pasta noodles from scratch. First one must combine the ingredients – flour, eggs, salt – and to make sure that the dough reaches the right consistency through several minutes of kneading. By spending this much time with the noodle in its unfinished form, one is able to learn and appreciate how it comes to exist and call upon the senses to see how traditions are ingrained in and coexist with the noodle. This discovery of the process behind the making of the noodle allows the observer to gain a wider perspective on that which is being observed. Furthermore, to gain a deeper knowledge on the cultural traditions behind the noodle, one must also be able to develop a rapport with the characters that are participants in the scene, that is, the cooks, servers and the guests. By gaining the participants’ perspectives on the dishes being served and the cultural history behind it, one may further come to understand the underlying values in the food. To further this investigation, we will look at the tradition of the long life noodles in China. The symbolism behind the noodle in this case is very significant to the culture and traditions of China. The longer the noodle served to you, it is believed the longer you will live. This comparison displays the significance of the noodle as it is compared to something very dear to us, our own lives. Chong Leng Poh was able to associate this dish with memories of his childhood and hope for his future. This singularity between food and culture can be observed in the the birthday parties celebrated in China and can enable one to appreciate the symbolism behind the noodle. long-life-jaune The noodle is the star of many dishes in Chinese and Italian culture. In order to fully immerse oneself in the food experience of enjoying the noodle, it is very helpful to participate as an observer in this food ceremony. By gaining hands on experience in the kitchen and at the dining table by being fully involved in the process of making and consuming the noodle, one is able to understand the traditions behind the noodle and how it contributes to the lives of so many people.