[Letters] Noodles hot and cold
Song Won-sup’s Fountain article on July 18 on the “cold noodles craze” was interesting, but I believe it omitted a fundamental aspect of the subject matter pertaining to the unmentioned gastronomic tradition of e yul chee yul. As my Korean wife has explained to me, your reference to Pyongyang naengmyeon lovers misses the point of why cold noodles traditionally are eaten in winter months (and why, conversely, hot noodles have been a traditional staple of hot summer weather, notwithstanding any supposed modern trend to the contrary to eat cold noodles in hot weather).
The “true taste” of cold food in cold weather is not the point. Rather, the age-old theory of e yul chee yul holds that bitterly cold winter weather won’t seem so cold if one has consumed ice-cold noodles and broth before venturing out of doors.
The comparable, albeit opposite, perceptional phenomenon thus would pertain when eating boiling-hot noodle soup in summer weather. In addition, the sweat induced by the hot food would take advantage of even the faintest of breezes to help keep a consumer cool during a monsoonal heat wave.
Richard Martin, Anaheim Hills, California