In the wide world of food, there are many dishes with textures so unique, one wonders how humans ever decided to eat them in the first place. Whether it's a beautiful bowl of mondongo, a healthy helping of natto, or some hyper-custardy durian, we've all put foods into our mouths that fill us with a delightful mixture of uncertainty and abject terror. Some turn out to be great, but others—not so much.
Which brings us to our point: "mud-like" is typically not a selling point in food. Hell, it's not normally a selling point for anything. But that hasn't stopped a small restaurant called Ooiwatei, located in Anjo, a city in Japan's Aichi Prefecture, from dubbing their thick, tonkotsu pork based ramen with this delightful title: "mud-based ramen."
前にTLで見た東刈谷の大岩亭に来たぞい。 大岩ラーメン特鳥や！ スープの粘度はレンゲが立つレベル。 あと、ご飯セルフでお代わり自由やで。 pic.twitter.com/6qyTtC2TWp
— 天音 衣月＠天音産にんじん (@ikyex) May 27, 2016
It may not sound good, but evidently it tastes great.
One Twitter user, @yukki_yp, posted a picture of the ramen with a spoon literally standing tall in its thick, viscous broth. As of now, that photo has almost 14,000 likes and over 20,000 re-tweets. Since then, many others have risen to the challenge, and posted photos on Twitter of upright spoons, wedged in the dense miasma that is Ooiwatei mud-based ramen.
日本一濃いラーメン たぶんもう食べない pic.twitter.com/NJR5tSd2wU
— ゆっきー (@yukki_yp) June 2, 2016
According to RocketNews24, the small restaurant carries several different versions of the ramen, with toppings ranging from spring onion to seaweed to chashu. All have the same thick, muddy soup base. Fans say they love its "deliciously dense, rich taste." Some have taken to posting before-and-after shots, which basically look like a photo of a thick bowl of goopy muck next to an empty bowl.
In a recent television appearance, Ooiwatei's energetic chef said it took him ten years to develop his secret recipe.
Is it the thickest broth in all of Japan? Many say it is. If it isn't, then the thickest broth is almost certainly made from some sentient, pulsating glob that fell from space and landed in some unsuspecting ramen chef's backyard.
Sorry, shoyu, shio, tonkotsu, and miso. It looks like it's finally mud ramen's time to shine.