Tuesday, March 8

Food In General: Tampopo

I've been meaning to watch Tampopo, a Japanese 1985 film, ever since hearing about it at a ramen lecture at the Asia Society in December. You can't get this noodle western on Netflix. So while I was vintage shopping in Haights and passed by Amoeba, a cd/ dvd store in SF, I paused and decided to try my luck.

Jūzō Itami, is brilliant Director with a bizarre imagination. His humorous gastoronomic film covers all the beauty in food in diverse mini-stories. The main focus is on a widow, Tampopo and her transformation of making successful ramen. But the common link between the seemingly random vignettes is food: the demand (husband ordering wife to cook while on deathbed), the sense of touch (old granny squeezing items in market), etiquette (women learning to eat spaghetti silently), the obsession (Yakuza's enthusiastic last word to girlfriend is about boars and yams),  the sensuality (live shrimp doused with alcohol on bare belly) all come together.

Here are two PG13 clips I enjoyed. The shrimp dousing and egg yolk exchange may not be appropriate to share:

How to eat ramen

Rather than saying "I love you" he goes on about boars and yams.

And with that, I am eating at Ippudo tonight. Nom nom nom.