For some of us, spending a summer at dads meant a systematic and voracious consumption of Top Ramen. Cycling through the flavors Chicken, Beef, and Oriental (unbelievably still on the market as a flavor) was one way to mark the days of sun and soap operas: orange wrapper, red wrapper, blue. Take your own intimate knowledge of dried noodles and spice packets to the next level at For the Love of Ramen, in which a panel of experts illuminate the food: We owe its modern form to a man known in Japan as Noodle Papa, for example. How did this humble dish grow to differ by region, command prices high and low, and fuel broke teens? Panelist George Solt has some answers; he has traveled extensively to share the knowledge in his doctoral dissertation, Taking Ramen Seriously: Food, Labor, and Everyday Life in Modern Japan. Asian Culinary Forum director Thy Tran moderates, and the panel also includes Eric Nakamura of Giant Robot and Andy Raskin, author of The Ramen King and I. Whether consumed in a basement in front of an Atari or in a fine restaurant with a perfectly paired beverage, ramen is worth your systematic and voracious attention.
Wed., June 24, 6:30 p.m., 2009