Cross-bridge noodles, or crossing-the-bridge noodles is the name of a special dish that originated in Yunnan Province. It is such a popular product of the culture of Yunnan that it in 2008 it was listed as an item of intangible cultural heritage of Kunming city. The dish is made of stewed chicken or goose soup, slices of pork or fish, vegetables and rice noodles.
There is a story behind the original creation of cross bridge noodles. It is said that there was a scholar during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) who studied every day on an island of Mengzi city in Yunnan. His favorite food was rice noodles, and his wife brought him a serving of them every day at his office where he worked. But she was disappointed when she realized that the noodles would get cold on the way to the island. She wished to be able to bring him hot food but didn’t know how.
She also discovered that the rice noodles tasted better when they were boiled separately from the chicken soup. One day she realized that when she took her husband chicken soup it stayed warm during the trip. She figured out that the oil layer on top of the soup insulated it from the cold and kept the heat inside.
The wife then came up with a solution. She tried bringing the chicken soup, rice noodles and other ingredients to the island separately, then combining them after she arrived on the island with her husband. That way the dish stayed hot and the noodles were fresh when they were added just before eating.
The word spread of the delicious dish and the wife's ingenious way of keeping the food hot as she carried it to the island. The dish became known as "crossing the bridge noodles" or simply "cross-bridge noodles" in memory of the wife who discovered a dish that would stay warm as she crossed the bridge to the island every day.
Mengzi City, Honghe, Yunnan Province
Cross bridge noodles can be found at the following places:
1. Jianxin Garden (Chain Store) 建新园（连锁）
Address: No. 195 Baoshan Street, Wuhua District, Kunming City (昆明市五华区宝善街195号).
2. Yun Queen Rice Noodles (云魁过桥米线)
Address: 2 / F, City of Flower, Jinwa Road, Kunming City(昆明市金瓦路花之城二楼).
3. Qiao Xiang Yuan Rice Noodles(桥香园过桥米线)
Address: No.175 Middle Renming Road, Kunming City. (昆明市人民中路175号)