Noodle World 2012
The Inter-Food Noodle World is an annual industry food event, with a focus on noodles.
I managed to snag a pass, let's see what this is all about!
Anything noodle related, you can be sure it is represented here. There were half a dozen noodle manufacturers on site. Most ramen shops in Japan use noodles that were made at a factory. Don't let the word factory dissuade you; these are often very high quality. Back in the USA we have a few of these noodle factories, and if you have a bowl in a major coastal city the chances that you are eating Sun Noodles or Yamachan are very high.
Be careful at these industry events, or you will be loaded down with more samples than you can carry.
Variety is key in Japan. Often a shop's secret recipe isn't such a mystery, but the careful selection of ingredients is what make it stand out. Do you want niboshi from Chiba or niboshi from the Seto Sea?
Miso from Hokkaido.
Kitchen equipment. This pressure cooker lets you make a 12 hour stock in about two. You might need a second mortgage on your home to buy one though. Very cool technology. I had a chance to use this cooker in Osaka, which I will write about someday soon.
Ticket machines with digital touch screens. SUICA is charge card that is meant for use on the trains, but has since become a standard form of payment. Choose your ramen, then just wave your wallet in front of the machine. Slick!
This expo isn't just for ramen. And despite being called Noodle World, there are also sections for izakayas, hotel foods, and franchising.
I tried to talk to as many ramen-related exhibitors as I could before heading out to non-ramen sections. Can you guess why? These expos are an easy place to get very, very drunk.
Why buy US fries? According to the info-graphic . . . we're #1!
When you start to spend some time talking with the black sesame fountain guy, maybe it is time to go.
The next day, I made some nice mazemen with the noodle samples I got from Maru Yama Seimen.