Chef Recommended: Tampopo
When the subject of food movies came up, everyone in Maude’s kitchen concurred that Tampopo is a classic comedy and near-mandatory viewing. Intrigued? So were we.
Tampopo タンポポ, is literally translated as dandelion. At face value it’s a 1985 Japanese movie about a noodle shop. The film is referenced as a Noodle Western, (playing on the concept of Spaghetti Westerns). But truly it’s a homage to food, to the pleasure of eating and the sensual enjoyment of creating and consuming.
The basic plot seems to center around two truck drivers who happen across a decrepit ramen shop and decide to help resurrect it. The film follows the adventures of the do-gooders who strive to help the widowed owner, Dandelion turn her noodle restaurant into a paradigm of noodle soup.
Then there are several subplots with gangsters, a housewife who returns from the grave to cook, and an etiquette class.
But the main star and opus of the film is the food. Food is erotic, symbolic, and is at once the subject and the object of the inquisitive camera. Watch this clip and learn about how to eat ramen noodle soup from a ramen master of Tampopo.
Curious? Take a recommendation from our chefs and check out Tampopo.
While it’s not available on Netflix, you can buy Tampopo on Amazon, but it ain’t cheap. The movie starts at $39, used. http://www.amazon.com/Tampopo-Ken-Watanabe/dp/6305154880
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