webwide noodling

i’m not sure when it started. in the mid-nineties watching anime for the first time during winter break. or maybe it was junzo itami’s “noodle” western, tampopo. i do know that as a child, i was fairly deprived of good food. bologna sandwiches - what all the other kids ate - were a rare treat that i could never trade my egg salad on wheat for. loaded with nitrites, i was raised to believe that processed lunch meats, like cathode-ray emissions and cap’n crunch cereal, caused cancer. maybe everything does cause cancer. but maybe i’ve stopped caring.

like a catholic schoolgirl, the deprived child, when finally given some freedoms, tends to binge on all the things he missed out on due to opressive (real or imagined) parenting. in my case, it was savory junk foods. bologna sandwiches. actually, what sandwiches? unless you count two slices of meat sandwiching another (i just ate ‘em by the pack). beef jerky. potato chips. corn nuts with 58% your daily dosage of sodium per serving. and cup noodles. of course i licked the flavor packets.

if ramen is food for the starving college student, then i’m a career gastronomy major and the backwaters of japan are my alma mater. for that is truly where it all begins. steeped in the thick stench of pork bones and tare vats that haven’t been washed since the end of the second world war. drunk on asahi and high on the touch of a girl who’s face you can’t quite make out except that she keeps nodding and fondling your thigh. or are you fondling hers? noriko (was that her name?) probably has no idea what you’re rambling on about anyway, but you know she likes you enough because that’s how she paid for that designer bag she’ll flaunt tomorrow afternoon at the family mart when she should really, um, be in class.


when you walk into the teacher’s room in a few hours, your kyoto-sensei will act as if nothing ever happened. even though it had all been his fault. sure the enkai had been for mr. sotoyama, who’s getting transferred across the prefecture next week. but the nijikai with the watered-down whiskey and the sanjikai at the snack bar, that was all the vice-principal’s doing. but so had been the bowl of ramen sometime in the neighborhood of 4am and for that, you remind yourself to thank him.

they had free hard-boiled eggs in countertop bowls, this shop. you don’t even remember what the noodles tasted like. in truth, they were pretty unspectacular. but they were the best you’ve ever had.

for aaron.

rameniac's b-sides - all the food besides ramen
rameniac on facebook - waste time, or buy simply him as a pet!
rameniac on myspace - get your noodle freak on!

新横浜ラーメン博物館 - the shin-yokohama raumen museum
ラーメンスタジアム 2 - canal city hakata's raumen stadium 2
株式会社ラーメンデータバンク - all things ramen-related at a monster japanese website
ラーメンデータベース - a veritable directory of ramen shops in japan.
RDBラーメンデータベース - features predominantly kanto-area ramen shops

anarchicramen - one man's attempt to perfect his own ramen recipe, after eating lots of instant noodles
ramentokyo - a handy guide to (lots of) ramen shops in the japanese capitol city
the ramen blog & other goodies - where you can even buy a ramen lapel pin!
ramen by shoe - a tokyo ramen blog with shades of urban poetry.
worldramen.net - the granddaddy of ramen on the internet. BON is a true pioneer!
goramen! - this nut recently moved to tokyo to train as a ramen chef at ivan ramen. now that's dedication!
ramen road - this seattlite is a transpacific traveller who definitely knows his noodle
gogo noodles - a female ramen lover in what has historically been considered a man's bowl
ramen adventures - a rising star on the tokyo circuit, ramen adventures has great photos of slurping
ramenate - nate is another ramen lover who can likely be found in a noodle shop near you, if you're in tokyo
ramenlovers - mostly instant noodles to be had in a no-frills blogspot sort of way
ramenlicious - creative recipes for DIY ramenizing
socal ramen - the name says it all: ramen in southern california
ramen otaku - a ramen geek in tokyo doin' the pics and bowls thing

best of la - with a healthy mix of restaurants and recipes
colleen cuisine - the blog that single-handedly jumpstarted the pinkberry revolution
daily gluttony - gustatory hedonism southern california style
deep end dining - this guy will eat anything!
eat drink & be merry - tony bourdain reads this guy and even ate thai boat noodles with him.
i love japanese food la - this guy aims to eat at every japanese restaurant in los angeles. good luck!
KIPlog cooks and eats (and drinks) - a mammoth food blog with a seriously large set of links
mikey hates everything - pirikara's (primarily) japanese american food blog
oishii eats - jeni's adventures in los angeles dining

email: rameniac at gmail dot com

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