“So Stinky, Delicious, Irresistible”

/ / Food & Flavor

“It’s fermented. It’s stinky. It’s delicious. And during the pandemic, it’s become a national sensation.”

Luosifen — snail noodles — is the subject of NPR’s latest All Things Considered program. The Chinese dish is made with rice noodles soaked in a broth of peeled river snails. It’s then topped with tofu, lemon vinegar and bamboo shoots (which have been covered in salt and fermented for a few weeks).

“Much of the preparation relies on fermentation, common in cuisine from southern Guangxi province where the noodles first began,” the NPR piece continues. “Their malodorous reputation also makes snail noodles quite possibly one of the worst meals to make at home: The smell of the pickled toppings and the stewed snails can linger for hours.”

Social media stars began sharing about the “disgustingly good snack” in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. As a result,over 1.1 billion packets of snail noodle home kits were sold last year. And the city in China where snail noodles originated 25,000 years ago — Liuzhou — is experiencing an economic boom, as the nationwide popularity brings new business to snail noodle food stands, factories and chain restaurants.

Read more (NPR)