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Hot Pot Purgatory: This Thai Soup Has Been Stewing for 45 Years Straight
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The family of chefs at Bangkok’s Wattana Panich restaurant have been reusing the same pot of broth for nearly half a century, creating an unmatched flavor for those bold enough to indulge.
Published on July 30, 2019

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If you’ve ever taken one too many tokes of your favorite strain and forgotten about a pot of soup on the stove, you might regret that first bite. That said, you are definitely not the first amateur chef to get lost in the sauce. But what happens when you plan to leave the stove on all day and reuse yesterday’s remains in every meal — for 45 years straight? 

At the Wattana Panich restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand, that’s exactly what is served every day. According to a new report from Great Big Story, the third-generation restaurant has been serving one single batch of noodle soup from a giant cauldron for nearly half a century.

The result? If you’re to believe the reporters at Great Big Story and the constant flow of customers into Wattana Panich, it’s an inimitable soup with the kind of flavor that can’t be canned. And if Nattapong Kaweenuntawong has it his way, that flavor will be saved for years to come, with his own kids already growing up inside the restaurant and preparing for their turn to take over the famed family ladle. 

Of course, to get a bowl, you’ll have to muster up the strength to look past the four and a half decades of congealed fat and stew spillover piled up around the massive soup pot. But to build 45 years of flavor, you’ve gotta break a few health codes.

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Zach Harris is a writer based in Philadelphia whose work has appeared on Noisey, First We Feast, and Jenkem Magazine. You can find him on Twitter @10000youtubes complaining about NBA referees.
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