With Valentine’s Day around the corner, chocolate manufactures rejoice as the celebrated “day of love” equates to the day of “Q1 profit boost” for them.
That’s because everyone knows that you simply cannot have Valentine’s Day without chocolate. Any any sort of chocolate would suffice in most circumstances, but have you ever heard of chocolate ramen?
— Kristen Baughman (@gadaboutfood) February 1, 2016
It sounds like the perfect Valentine’s Day gift solution for a broke college kid, but the Japanese treat is more popular — and apparently more delicious — than you would think.
According to Reuters, Japanese ramen restaurants are taking a more decadent spin on the savory treat for Valentine’s Day by serving the dish as a confectionery dessert.
Mensho Ramen Shop in Tokyo, serves their Valentine’s Day treat in a lamb broth. Typical savory ingredients that include pork, spring onions, black pepper are added. Lastly, the dish is lusciously topped off with chocolate.
Mensho store manager Yoshitaka Ando said this of his Valentine’s Day inspired creation. “The ramen tastes of chocolate when you eat the chocolate part, but after mixing it well, it becomes a new dish with a balance in the flavor of the chocolate and the soup.” He added, “It not only creates an unusual ramen but one that is also delicious.”
One patron of Mensho, a student who frequents the shop often, had this to say.
“I was afraid some strange food would be served up, but actually the different tastes work well together. It was, how would you say…sweet and salty.”
Eater describes chocolate ramen as a soup consisting of solid chunks of chocolate swimming around in it. The chocolate, in this scenario, will be picked up with chopsticks like any other ramen topping.
However, Eater added, a more experienced consumer of chocolate ramen will let the chocolate melt into the soup effectively allowing the noodles to become coated in chocolate before ingesting them.
Another popular Ramen shop in Japan, Menya Mushahi, also partakes in the art of crafting chocolate ramen. Rocket News reports that this shop is also making chocolate ramen for Valentine’s Day.
Actually, they’ve been producing the chocolately soup for seven years. In collaboration with the snack maker, Lotte’s Ghana Milk Chocolate, the ramen store has been producing what is known as “Tsuke Ghana.”
The term stems from tsukemen-style ramen. Tsukemen-style ramen, is when the the noodles and soup are served separately requiring the person eating it to dip the noodles into the soup.
In Mushahi’s version, the ramen stock is already infused with rich dark chocolate with noodles on the side to be dipped into it.
Rocket News also claims that this version of the dish was “surprisingly delectable.” The website goes on to say that they were impressed with the chocolate taste of the soup alone. “[I]t also had enough character to stand on its own as a rich soup and not just a sweet sauce for the noodles.”
Eater claims that Mensho Ramen is slated to open it’s first shop in the United States next month. It will bring its chocolate ramen across the vast ocean when it opens in San Francisco in March.
Denizens of San Francisco could be among the first to enjoy the Valentine’s Day treat as if it weren’t great enough that they get to host the Super Bowl this month in their city. However, that event may come with some scrutiny as a downside, the Inquisitr previously reports.
Before you knock the chocolate ramen Japanese Valentine’s Day creation, don’t forget that the United States is solely responsible for chocolate-covered potato chips.
And other blasphemous monstrosities.
How about it? Are you going to get some chocolate ramen for your significant other this Valentine’s Day? You can also easily make a dry version of the dish which probably isn’t terrible.
[Image via Shutterstock/Masson]