Noodle Vendor's Secret Ingredient: Opium Poppy

He wanted customers to come back again and again
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2014 1:21 PM CDT
Noodle Vendor's Secret Ingredient: Opium Poppy
In this file photo, a man uses chopsticks to eat noodles at a restaurant in Beijing.   (AP Photo)

What keeps diners coming back again and again? Addictive drugs hidden in the food, apparently. China says it has jailed a noodle vendor for 10 days after he admitted to lacing his grub with powder ground from the poppy plant, used to make opium, CNN reports. The man, identified as Zhang, allegedly bought 4.4 pounds of poppy buds for $100 last month, crushed the seeds into a powder, and added it to his noodles to boost the taste, a Chinese newspaper reports, per the BBC. But a better-tasting noodle wasn't his only mission. Zhang also wanted to make sure his customers would return.

Police were clued in to the scheme when they pulled over a 26-year-old man who tested positive for drugs, though he maintained he'd never touched the stuff. While detained for 15 days on drug abuse charges, the man began to suspect the noodles he'd consumed just hours before the drug test. He was released after his relatives tried the noodles and also tested positive for the illegal substance. CNN quotes a local paper as saying it is unlikely a customer would have become addicted to the drug from the noodles, even if eaten regularly. (More China stories.)

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