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Chicken Soup: A Poem

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After publishing a post and recipe about the joys of good wonton soup, I got an email by Serious Eater Richard Marcus, which said the following:

After reading your article I felt it was my duty to send you the following epic work, described by some as the greatest stick-on-the-fridge-with-a-magnet poem about food ever written...by a guy...about soup...that rhymes...In English...by me.

Turns out Mr. Marcus is no slouch when it comes to writing songs about food. He's the creator of "A Bagel is More Than A Jewish Donut," a collection of songs that includes the Mango Tango, Free Fried Rice, and I've Been Working On My Broccoli.

So without further ado, here's his poem, "Chicken Soup."

Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is more than just soup.
Chicken soup is more than a meal.
Chicken soup is religion you eat with a spoon.
Chicken soup is a very big deal.

Chicken soup was created when the first fowl,
Met the first mom with a ladle.
From that encounter came this life giving broth.
(Except for the bird; which was fatal.)

It is comfort and warmth, "Home," in a bowl;
The "Broth of The Gods," poultry scented.
The manna from heaven would have been chicken soup,
If matzo balls had been invented.

Chicken soup's served with kreplach and udon,
Veggies, bok choy and rice.
It even comes lacking all chicken,
In those cubes that can double as dice.

It's served with wontons, noodles and flanken,
From China to Chile to Thailand.
From Delhi to delis, it fills the world's bellies,
In Paris, Bombay and Long Island.

It's been called an elixir,
The poultry Prozac,
And, of course, "Jewish penicillin."
But it transcends persuasions,
When viral invasions
And bacilli are evil villains.

But it's at its best
When brought to your sick bed,
Straight from a steamy, warm kitchen.
Nose runny, bones shaking, your body all aching,
Eyes teary and red rimmed from itching.

It heals even more
With The Chicken Soup Prayer:
"Be careful, don't burn your lips."
Then bowing your head you gratefully slurp...
And you're healed with just the first sips .

So now, if you're asked why that hen crossed that road,
You won't be thrown for a loop.
You can answer with the faith of the miraculously cured:
It did it to make chicken soup.

Thanks Richard!

About the author: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt is the Chief Creative Officer of Serious Eats where he likes to explore the science of home cooking in his weekly column The Food Lab. You can follow him at @thefoodlab on Twitter, or at The Food Lab on Facebook.

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