If you are having trouble pronouncing the title of this post, imagine you are a part of this conversation:
Me: "Yo _________ (insert your name here--this works especially well for you G-bob), you down for a bowl of noodles in C-town?"
You: "Word, T-dog--'Chow-Mein Palace'?"
Me: "Fo sho."
Only this time, i changed the 'Fo' to 'pho.' As in the noodle dish. I know: pretty clever.
But this post is not just about Pho; it is about all noodles in general. Its about how nearly every country around the world has some form of noodle (or pasta, depending on where you are). Mostly though, it is about how i have been eating a different noodle dish from a different country every night for the past fourteen days. Two weeks of noodles. Now thats dope.
It all started somewhere in Morocco, when Cindy and i began pining for anything besides white bread breakfasts overcooked vegetable dinners, respectively--Cindy looked forward to her first bowl of oatmeal in her new home, my "first-meal-back" was to be slurpy noodles. A big ol bowl of brothy, gingery, slightly spicy, very slurpy noodles, with big chunks of tofu and something green and cabbage like. The sort of dish you have to eat out of a deep bowl, held close to your face so that your slurping of the slurpy noodles doesnt end up everywhere but your mouth, and so you can tip back the broth when there isnt risk of choking on cabbage-y bits.The thought of this bit of comfort got me through the rainy days of our trip (mind you, so did various street food forms of chickpeas, and large amounts of sherry). Then, in the Frankfurt airport (the grandest airport to wile away seven and a half hours in, by the way), there was a Pho food stand, aromatic and displaying fresh, green, cabbage-like things. Only i had just downed a tub (yes, it was tub-like, that container of cereal) of mueslix. So i showered instead. Thats right, showered. Because the Frankfurt airport has showers. Dope.
Back on the (fast) track. Craving for slurpy noodles still fueling my mind more than body. Lots of rice in Nicaragua.
Home. Christmas. Christmas-y food. No noodles.
Today. Day fourteen. And still loving noodles. Perhaps more than ever. Certainly more skilled with chopsticks. Only, I am running out of countries. I started with udon, my favorite (so much so that i have five, five, varieties of udon/soba--same noodles, different flours, all five of them.), with the gingery/garlicky/tofu/green cabbage blend of my cross-country dreams. I drank sake. Then i had my other favorite slurpy noodles, slurpy pasta. Linguine that i could spin around my fork. Linguini vongole that didnt have nearly enough briny clam juice to tip back. I also had linguine made even more dangerously slurpy from a can of my yellow tomatoes, because i remembered after the first dish that i love slurpy pasta the most. Then there was coconut drenched rice noodles with big wedges of pumpkin. Then there was coconut drenched rice noodles with tamarind, fresh turmeric, and prawns--an open can of coconut milk only holds so long. Twice (good things come in twos?) there was fideos--broken strands of vermicelli--when i missed spain and portugal. I even missed Moroccan food, and steamed capellini in the Moroccan fashion, much the same as they do couscous. Ramen with a soft poached egg. There was brothy five spice Pho, naturally. And tonight was Chinese egg noodles with shitake mushrooms and eggplant i roasted and preserved this summer. I even curried noodles, Carribean style, and toasted strands for Mexico's "Sopa Seca"--a gem, by the way. Iranian "Resh-teh". Somewhere in there, i made speghetti squash, kinda like noodles, but a welcome change. Tomorrow marks the end of this noodle sojourn-- "Balaleet" from India, traditionally a sweet dish--unless you know of any others. Unless i have the other four varieties of Udon in my cupboard--because I really dont tire of slurping or twirling up noodles or pasta--thats pho sho.
(oh wait! i havent had pad thai yet...friday is looking fine indeed.)