News and Trends

Ramenations


If you’ve been to any Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York, you know that there is ramen and there is Momofuku ramen. The menu at the unfussy, canteen-style eatery on 1st Avenue between 10th and 11th Streets changes daily, but ramen remains a regular feature. There’s the signature Momofuku ramen, a heavenly bowl of ramen noodles swirled with pork belly, pork shoulder and poached egg, as well as the spicy chicken ramen, which includes Tuscan kale, smoked sesame and nori. And if you didn’t think the lowly ramen was worthy of further rumination, you’ll have to get a copy of Lucky Peach, the new journal of food writing published quarterly by McSweeney’s. The people behind Lucky Peach make a pretty darn impressive bunch:  McSweeney’s publisher Chris Ying; David Chang, Momofuku’s very own James Beard Award-winning chef; his Momofuku cookbook co-writer Peter Meehan; and Zero Point Zero Productions, who produce the Travel Channel’s Emmy Award-winning show Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations. The maiden issue, devoted entirely to ramen, even contains a 170-page “Ramencyclopedia”. There are essays from the likes of Anthony Bourdain, who discusses the career trajectory of David Chang himself through the prism of classic films including Ramen Girl and Tampopo. Food scientist Harold McGee considers alkaline noodles, MSG and the term "molecular gastronomy", Ruth Reichl does a ramen taste test, while Chang, Wayne Dufresne, Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi and Juan Mari Azrak contribute recipes. Just the kind of food journal filled with intelligent, witty writing and luscious photography that should be read in between slurps of steaming ramen.   Text: Bambina Olivares Wise Images: mcsweeneys.net/luckypeach