How Long Can a Pot of Soup Be Kept Simmering?

It's undoubtedly true that certain foods get better with age (cheese comes to mind), but even "mature" or "aged" delicacies seem freshly made compared to the soup that's served up every day at Wattana Panich. The Bangkok eatery has famously kept a gigantic pot of beef noodle soup simmering for over 45 years. Nattapong Kaweeantawong is the third-generation owner of the restaurant, and keeps the business going with the help of his family members, one of whom is constantly stirring the legendary soup. A small amount of the liquid is kept simmering overnight to make the stock for the next day's aromatic concoction. The soup features beef, Chinese herbs, cinnamon, garlic, and cilantro root, yet it's always somewhat unique, depending on the person adding ingredients. The soup pot at Wattana Panich is not just any pot -- it's around 5 feet (1.5 m) in diameter and 2.5 feet (0.8 m) deep, so it's almost as much of a draw for hungry locals and tourists as the soup itself.

Tastes better with age:

  • In 2014, New York City restaurant Louro kept a pot of stew simmering for several months, "feeding it" all sorts of kitchen leftovers, partly to draw attention to the problem of food waste.
  • The idea of a "perpetual stew" was well known in medieval inns, when available ingredients such as meat and root vegetables would be added to a never-empty cauldron.
  • Although people tend to assume that aging wine makes it taste better, most wine should be consumed within a year production. 99% of wine is meant to be consumed within 5 years.
More Info: NPR

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