Scalding Your Mouth on Pork Ramen in Fukuoka City, Japan
Don't let the boisterous cooks shouting Irashaimase! (welcome) keep you from pushing back the linen curtains at the entrance of a yatai stall (a typical ramen shop). Once inside, an apron-clad server will lead you to an empty seat and plunk down a couple glasses of cold green tea. If you don't read Japanese, uttering the words "futsu ramen" (regular ramen) will get you a steaming bowl of traditionally cooked noodles. Styles vary wildly—up north, shops specialize in crab and butter ramen, while Fukuoka City in the south is known throughout Japan as the pork ramen capital. Use your chopsticks to dig around for pieces of fatty pork, and make sure to slurp your noodles as loud as possible—a compliment to the chef.