And finally, there's the effect on flavor. The flavor of alkaline noodles is really distinctive, and that's as big a mystery as anything. Flavor's the thing that gives us the most pleasure in food, and it's also the aspect of food that we know the least about. Something happens when you cook alkaline noodles that creates a flavor that's unique and pleasant. We know the taste of acidity--its sourness, its tartness. Alkalinity is harder to register, but it's a kind of slick feeling in your mouth. If you take just a bit of baking soda and mix it with water and then put a drop of that on your tongue, you'll see what I mean. It's a little bitter, but mostly it's a soapy kind of feeling. The more alkaline ingredients you include in a dough, the more you end up with that kind of slick, soapy feeling. (Past a certain point, that begins to get sort of unpleasant.) And the aroma gets eggier and eggier, too, which is weird in a noodle recipe that has no eggs whatsoever.