Friday, September 27, 2013

Food for Thought: Hangover Cure

Yakamein. It's the soup that promises to cure your hangover.

Folklore has it that American soldiers from New Orleans stationed in Korea in the 1950s learned to appreciate yak-a-mein on the morning after, and brought a taste for it back home. It may be a good example of intuitive science – an effective remedy, and with the scientific basis revealed only years later. Many of us have had those rough morning-afters, where we would do anything to quell the ill-effects of a little too much fun the evening before.

A well-known secret remedy in the New Orleans area, not many others know how to create the miracle soup. In essence, it's not too complicated to make. All it takes is beef brisket, spaghetti noodles, hard boiled egg, soy sauce, green onion and hot sauce. The soup is said to make you feel alive in the morning, earning it's local nickname of "Old Sober." 

So, how does it work? Just ask science. The soup itself is loaded with sodium that helps to replace all the salts that your body tends to release when you drink too much alcohol, due to it's diuretic properties. The brisket sits in your stomach and helps to soak up some alcohol, slowing down the body's absorption of alcohol. The vitamins in the green onions might help ease an impending headache by preventing an accumulation of glutaric acid. That egg plays a part, too, being full of a chemical called cysteine that removes noxious acetaldehyde from the system.

Most of us, if hung over, don't have the energy or desire to cook the next day. So next time you know you're going out for a good time (responsibly of course), maybe prep the soup the day before so it's ready for you the next morning and you don't have to waste a day away laying around on the couch. Check here for a recipe on New Orleans hangover soup and how the Chinese may have left their influence on the deep south!

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