Let’s get something straight: the ramen packets you used to buy for a quarter each in college is NOT the ramen that the good people of Japan have been enjoying for eons. Luckily, ramen — real ramen with handmade noodles and rich, flavorful broth — has been catching on in foodie circles around the US for the past decade or so and now it’s a full-blown trend with ramen shops opening in major cities and suburbs alike.
One could even say that America is in the middle of a Ramen Revolution and, truthfully, it’s not just limited to the US. Ramen is gaining steam (soup joke!) all over the world. As one of Japan’s biggest airlines, ANA knows this all too well. That’s why they’ve been serving ramen on their flights as a snack for their guests in First Class and Business since June 2013 and that’s why they’re introducing another new flavor with the help of ramen giants Hakata Ippudo.
If you live in New York, you know Ippudo. In fact, if you live in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Hong Kong, Seoul, Taipei, Sydney, Shanghai, Guangzhao, or Shenzhen, you probably know Ippudo, too. They’re respected all over the world for their ramen game and ANA was smart enough to team up with Chikara no Minamoto and their Ippudo brand to create a new ramen menu last year. Now, they’re back with a new flavor for their North American routes.
Passengers to and from Europe can still enjoy “Soraton,” which feautres rich tonkotsu pork broth mixed with extra thin noodles and “fragrant oil,” but starting in September, travelers to and from North America get to experience the all new miso “Daichi” ramen. The meatless soup uses soybeans instead of meat for a vegetarian option that will satisfy everyone. The noodles are flatter than what you’d find in most bowls of ramen and, in place of the meat, the soybeans do their best to be like “hey, we’re just like meat except we didn’t come from an animal!” Whether or not they actually resemble anything like meat is another question entirely.
If you want to taste test the new flavor, book a ticket for September in a premium cabin on ANA and show up hungry. Then report back and tell me how it went!