Namesake

Monday, November 29, 2010 | 3:00 PM

Hot pot, the dish, is about community. You and your friends huddle together and add ingredients to a pot of boiling broth, creating a delicious soup to be enjoyed by all. Sometimes you take your own food from the pot, and sometimes you taste what your friends have added. This shared experience of gathering around a fire to cook and eat communally is a fundamental illustration of how we’ve come together to enjoy food from the earliest days of humanity.




While most of my friends love hot pot, my friend Chrix is usually the determined instigator. When he gets a craving, he’ll start suggesting it rapidly in the manner of a large, squawking bird: "Hot pot, hot pot! Let's get hot pot!" Repetition is an incredibly powerful tool of persuasion, and his desire spreads contagiously among a large group. Without fully realizing what's happening, many of us begin the journey to a hot pot restaurant to satisfy our sudden appetites.

Once we arrive, we generally order two types of broth (mild and spicy), and a cornucopia of things to put into the pot. Thinly sliced beef takes only seconds to cook, while fish, vegetables and noodles take a bit longer. As everyone frantically throws in their favorite items, we all lose track of what we've put in, and begin to dig for each others’ treasures. "The person who ordered shrimp dumplings is a genius!" someone shouts. "Yum, try the mushrooms!" suggests another. Eating becomes an adventure as we discuss and enjoy the eclectic mixture of our combined tastes.

The chatter and jostling that ensues captures the essence of why we truly love hot pot: It's a joyous, social activity that brings us closer together. We talk, and laugh, and eat. We clink bottles of beer in honor of life and friendship. Hours pass by, and we finally exhaust our stomachs and lie back in our chairs, comatose and smiling, a scene reminiscent of Thanksgiving Day.

And as we finally leave the restaurant, the scent of our meal buried deep in our clothing (this lasting smell is the singular downside of hot pot), we already look forward to the next occasion — not necessarily to food, but to time spent with friends. What will it be next? Brunch? A museum? A trip to the beach? Maybe we'll use Hotpot to find out...

Posted by Taj Campbell, Product Manager

6 comments:

Whit said...

What a great idea. As one of my teachers always says, "Coffee shop your ideas." Basically, this means everyone talks, builds upon each others ideas, and jumble together something fantastic. It came from a TED talk which I highly recommend. Good luck Hotpoting!

Tinu Abayomi-Paul said...

I really thought it was a typo early in the product cycle that you ran with!

Dan said...

call it "HotPlaces.com"

CorneliusTBadger said...

i thought originally that the name referred to yorkshire hotpots!
had visions of betty from corrie working for google! :D

Roger Thornton Brown said...

I too thought it was a typo as Lancashire Hotpot and Google just don't go together. Turns out that, in America, a hotpot is some fondue-type concept. Not as cheesy though.

Felke & Friends said...

The name is pretty generic and suggests to be centered around dining. It'll be interesting to see how this works out in the long run. I like the story around it and how you came up with it. Might not be good enough to draw people in.