NPR

Soup's On! And On! Thai Beef Noodle Brew Has Been Simmering For 45 Years

The giant pot of dark brew brimming with beef, spices and herbs sits near the sidewalk on a busy street in Bangkok, where it is constantly stirred by a member of the third-generation-owned restaurant.
Nattapong Kaweeantawong, third-generation owner of Wattana Panich, stirs the soup while his mother, left, helps serve and his wife, center, does other jobs at the restaurant. Nattapong or another family member must constantly stir the thick brew. Source: Michael Sullivan for NPR

There's food that's old. There's food that's gone bad. And then there's soup that's been simmering for 45 years.

In Bangkok, customers can't get enough of the latter at Wattana Panich, a noodle soup joint in the trendy Ekkamai neighborhood, where third-generation owner Nattapong Kaweeantawong wants to clear up what he thinks is a popular misconception about his beef soup.

"Lots of people think we never clean the pot," he says. "But we clean it every evening. We remove the soup from the pot, then keep a little bit simmering overnight."

It's that little bit, day's soup. So yes, at least a of what you put in your mouth is 45 years old and counting.

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