Ramen: Not Just for the Internet Anymore

The Rameniac, a.k.a. ramen fan Rickmond Wong, hit the print-media jackpot last week with a lengthy write-up in the Los Angeles Times by Russ Parsons (who’s as fanatical about just about everything as Wong is about ramen). For those who haven’t read Rameniac, here’s the Parsons summary of the blog, which he calls “one of the best of the food sites by single-topic fanatics.”

There is an in-depth discussion of Japan’s regional styles of ramen (22, according to Wong). There are reviews of ramen restaurants. There are reviews of packaged ramen. There are even videos of ramen being made and slurped. There is a forum for discussing ramen and ramen-related issues.

Parsons discusses ramen in detail that’s worthy of the Rameniac himself. For both writers, the subject makes ideal nerdy sense:

‘Ramen is perfectly suited for geeks,’ Wong says, ‘Otaku is what they call them in Japan,’ usually indicating someone with an obsessive interest in an arcane topic such as animé (Japanese cartoons) or fashion. ‘It’s cheap and it’s hedonistic.’

In fact, Wong says, there’s a Japanese television show in which “they take ramen geeks and blindfold them and see if they can identify their favorite ramen shops just by the smell of the soup.”

The Rameniac himself posts on Chowhound frequently: Here’s a congratulatory thread that includes his top five spots for ramen in Southern California. The traffic from the Times story initially sank Wong’s server, but he’s back up and slurping away.

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