the story of the noodle

I`m not going to

tell you it of course sorry

about that but if…

… you have 90 dollars to spare, you can buy Slurp! A social and cultural history of Ramen – Japan`s favourite noodle soup.   As much as I love Ramen, I don`t know if I would spend that much on any book.  No.  I definitely wouldn`t, but it looks really good.     I`ll just watch Tampopo again (it doesn`t give a history or anything of ramen but it does give a good social insight into noodles and other foods enjoyed in Japan).  It`s cheaper!!  This book must be intended as a coffee table book as it`s so pricey and it`s a hardback.  It probably has loads of photos of delicious looking ramen too, as you would expect from such a book.

Elsewhere in the Japanese culinary world, a new concept of gourmet food has been kick-started.    B-Kyuu gourmet.   This is a food movement where women are in charge.   Men have traditionally been in charge of the running of restaurants, including most of the cooking, in Japan but this movement is hoping to change that and while doing that it will focus on the healthier foods out there.   I`m not sure I like the name which means B-Grade.   Does it mean that the women in charge have accepted that they can`t be A-Grade which is claimed by men?   If someone could explain this to me that would be great.

One of the women involved in this movement has a `competitive eating` background.    I watched a bit of that while in Japan and I think it`s slightly off-putting to see people eat food like that.   It seems to be popular though, and has even made celebrities out of people (hmm – probably the equivalent of z-list celebrities elsewhere).  Another woman involved runs food tours in Tokyo.  I wouldn`t mind doing that next time I`m there.

It`s great of course that women are trying to step up in the culinary world of Japan and so with the support of whoever they can rally support from, be it `celebrities` or ordinary people frequenting their restaurants and buying their cookbooks (or checking them out on-line), they can only gain more `weight` in the cooking world of Japan.   Still not sure about the name.  Maybe they`re just taking things slowly though.

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