I think I’m going to be in the minority on this delight, but I love the sound of people eating. And it’s not just that warm-fuzzy feel-good ‘mom’ feeling that comes from knowing that people are being nourished by the fruits of my labors. It’s the sound, the very smack.

Now to a lot of people, it will appear that I am advocating for people eating like pigs, which I certainly I am not. You can eat with regular food eating noises without being a slob and spilling all over yourself.

When I was in grad school, I used to sit in the lounge and there was this student who would always come in with a paper grocery bag containing the several courses of his lunch. He was not fat, he was just Asian and there was the soup, and the noodles, and the chopsticks, and the bowl, and several other elements necessitating a large shopping bag for transport. Anyways, I always tried to sit at a table near him because I knew he was a smacky-smack, slurpy-slurp eater, and the sound is pure valium to me.

People of other ethnicities are the loudest eaters (unless you count my dad who is 100% white). That’s not a criticism. Smacky eating doesn’t seem to be such a faux pas in other countries. That’s how you taste food, people. But in the über-sterile States where everything needs to be clean, white, quiet, and vanilla, you lack the variety in eating noises. In our house if you so much as breathe loud while chewing, you can expect to get a glare and probably a snarky comment. It’s a damn shame.

Am I weird for liking this? Probably. Do I stalk recent immigrants at meal times? Maybe a little bit. Don’t judge me. Better to like something weird than be perpetually annoyed by it. Try letting yourself enjoy the mealtime smack and slurp next time you hear it. You might find a new sense of peace and relaxation where once there had only been disdain.

4 thoughts on “Smacky-Smack.

  1. Jackie, ew, gross. The biggest culture shock for this southern dude moving to Philly was the eating noises people make in the North. I never got used to it, but did stop feeling homicidal when someone in my presence chewed with their mouth open (required to produce smacking). Well, I consider this one of my personal flaws – I’m hoping your reframe of the issue will contribute to my rehabilitation. Love your blog.

  2. While I agree that chewing with your mouth open can be gross, (I hope I don’t do it!) I don’t tend to hate eating noises unless I’m already annoyed with the person. Then, they make me want to throw my food at them if they make chewing noises. However, slurping has never annoyed me, I think it’s kind of fun actually, which is good because it’s definitely more acceptable in Korean culture.

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