NPR’s Ramen Nostalgia

NPR followed-up their ramen series with a set of ramen nostalgia stories sent in from readers.

This was my favorite of the stories:

It was gratifying to hear David Chang confirm for me that the pronunciation of the dish is “rahm-yen” as I learned it in Korea in 1967-68. At 50 won per package (about 7 cents back then) ramen was a staple. We could cook it in a canteen cup on the kerosene-fired space heater in the barracks or dispensary when it was way too cold near the Korean demilitarized zone to walk to the mess hall. Pop in an egg or a big spoonful of peanut butter from one’s mess hall “procurements.” Properly done, doctored ramen nearly always beat whatever mostly unidentifiable culinary delight was on the camp’s lunch menu.

Craig Marckwardt