Sunday, July 16, 2006

Ramen Fever - Part I

Since it's a lot later tonight than I expected, I have to keep this post short...

But let me tell you, there are some serious food bloggers out there in Nagoya, Japan. My hometown of Nagoya is not particularly famous for ramen, but just a quick Google search for ramen blogs in Nagoya will bring a plethora of interesting sites.

Seriously, these guys eat one new bowl of ramen a day... And really good ramen too - this is not your Maruchan college instant noodles. This is a serious culinary movement in Japan - the Way of the Ramen.

They recently built an entire indoor 'theme park' in Nagoya, dedicated to ramen. Titled Nagoya Men-ya Yokochou (Nagoya Noodle Shop Corner), the shops in this park are run by guys who are serious ramen-freaks. From 6/24-8/31, they are having a spicy ramen festival, where all seven of the shops have created a new menu item - a spicy ramen - to combat the summer heat.

Luckily, when I was there, one of the shops was undergoing renovations/replacement, so I only had six shops to choose from - but let me tell you. Choosing the six shops in there was as challenging as trying to decide on the best meals in San Francisco. Some noodle shops play up their noodles made with special water, while other shops emphasize their soups made with the new, trendy double-soup method: two soup stocks - one that is usually seafood-based and one that is land animal-based, separately made and mixed in the bowl right before serving to bring out the best combination of broths and flavors.

But that's all I can handle reporting now...

More coming tomorrow~!

5 comments:

hannah_from_oz said...

Hi there,

I discovered your blog while researching my (now passed) trip to Japan, and was quite sad to come to the end of the archives, after diligent reading, and find you gone and me unable to comment on how much I enjoy reading this. To come back from my trip and find you feeling better was wonderful, because now I can say thanks for this, I love reading about your memories and experiences from japan, and your life in the Bay (where, by the by, I hope to do a university exchange somehwere in the near future).

The Papa Bear said...

Yeah, eating hot and spicy food in hot weather is completely counter-intuitive, especially for those who are not used to such food. But it totally works!!!

umetaro said...

wait... why did you have to choose? it's definitely possible to fit six bowls of ramen into a single day... i fit four meals in fukuoka into 3 hours (ramen, ikuradon, ramen, and tonkatsu)...

also, re: spicy food in hot weathr... isn't the capsaicin in the pepper supposed to increase blood flow to the dermal capillaries allowing your body to cool itself more effectively?

yamo said...

That's why I like the ramen museum in yokohama. They also sell half sizes. I ended up eating 4 half bowls. I've never eaten so much ramen in such a small span of time. At least they were all good!

The Papa Bear said...

Umetaro: I'm not exactly sure what capsaicin does, but here's an informative article on it (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsaicin).

For sure, though, one sweats like mad when consuming more than one can handle. And that certainly has a very cooling effect. :)