Everyone loves ramen, and due to its beautiful simplicity, we all believe we know most there is to know about ramen. However, true ramen has a deep, complex, and intricate history which is reflected in the complex and diverse types of ramen available all across Japan. It is because of this complexity that we started RamenTrunk! Our main goal is to take the best ramen found across the prefectures of Japan and make them available to everyone around the world.
Ramen's history began in the late 19th century in Japan where it was first introduced by Chinese immigrants. The name ramen (ラーメン), written in katakana, is actually an adaption on the Chinese work La Mien (拉麵) meaning literally "pulled noodles). Over time, the Japanese modified the Chinese wheat noodles into what has become a truly Japanese dish that varies greatly across the country.
Ramen taste is very individual with many notable ramen shops in Japan creating unique flavors and textures playing with the 3 main building blocks of ramen: Soup, Noodle, and Flavor (sometimes Toppings can be added here).
The soup, or broth, is core to any ramen and defines the type and in most cases can indicate the origins of the bowl.
Many types of flavors and imbue a bowl of ramen. Flavors can be vey indicative of the origins of a bowl of ramen. For example, Kyushu prefecture that includes Hakata and Fukuoka is frequently seen as the origins of ramen and creates the best Tonkotsu ramen with great brands coming out of the region like Ippudo and Ichiran. Up north in Hokkaido prefecture we get deep miso flavored ramen that warms the body during their cold, long winters as well as the curry ramen of Sapporo.
As ramen begins to modernize and Japanese are more culturally willing to try new flavors we are starting to see more attempts at creating new flavors and tastes.
However, there are four main classifications of broth.