Speaking of noodles, the other day a new book landed in my office. After I swept away the broken glass I was delighted to see that it was Takashi’s Noodles, by Chicago’s own esteemed Takashi Yagihashi. This thing looks great. In seven chapters the chef (with Harris Salat) tackles traditional (shio ramen) and innovative (corned beef with rice noodles) ramen, soba, udon, somen, mung bean threads and rice noodles, and the intriguing Japanese-Italian cross known as wafu. And appetizers.

It won’t hit stores until early March, so here’s a taste of Takashi on the obligation of slurping:

Here’s the most important advice I can give you when eating Japanese noodles: slurp loudly! There’s a practical reason for this: when you’re eating hot noodles, slurping cools the noodles as they enter your mouth, so you can consume them quickly, as they taste best when they’re hottest. With cold noodles, slurping helps you suck up not just the noodle but also the cold sauce that accompanies it. Back in Japan, it’s remarkable to listen to the sounds of a typical ramen shop during the lunchtime rush: besides the clanking of pots and pans and calling out of orders, it’s usually eerily quiet–except for the sounds of customers slurping at full volume. Take a page out of their book and slurp away.