This restaurant runs with no trash cans. ‘It’s the right thing to do’ “
It should make perfect sense for people in China to not throw away any food that is edible. However, in China there is the saying “The end of the road is right at the front” when referring to food that has been used or drunk but not consumed – so it is possible to have a meal where, for example, you eat a pile of noodles that was not eaten.
In Chinese restaurants and home kitchens, this can easily happen. We are never offered a plate of noodles. Instead, we are offered a plate of meat (usually pork) and then another plate of meat. A whole pile of fried noodles (or a couple of them) can be offered to us – a plate of fried noodles and a half-sized plate of meat that will later look like a pile of fried noodles.
As a foreigner, your mouth is probably very dry and you need a very large amount of water on your plate, and this becomes a little more tricky when you have two different plates of fried noodles. After a while, the noodles will look like meat and the meat is going to look like noodles again. So, you might think, “is this my food?”. Is this it?
It is a bit confusing – because you are offered a plate of noodles and then a plate of meat when you have eaten the first plate of noodles. But here is a trick question – if you eat the meat from the plate, there is not a huge amount of meat left on the plate, but the noodles have been fried so all the meat is soft and you can chew.
“Not everything is a plate of noodles”
This is where our food safety skills come to good use. We have to be careful that we don’t offer you a plate of meat and then a plate of fried noodles that you will later go back to feeling like meat and noodles.
A good way to be careful is by first offering you only a bit of the meat and then the vegetable side on the plate – the noodles and the vegetables will be still warm, so you won’t mind taking a bite. When it is time to eat the meat, go ahead and offer a bit more meat than when you first