“Ume Ramen”, Awarded with Top Prize at a National Competition
In a ramen shop located within Fukui Prefecture’s Wakasa Town, a new item incorporating the flesh and essence of the Fukui plum has been developed: the “Ume Ramen”. Recently, the Ume Ramen received the top prize at a competition where new products, using Japanese plums from across the country, are evaluated. The medium-think noodles with Japanese plums kneaded into it, giving out a red colour, and the soup that compliments its sourness has been popular with the locals.
“Upon receiving the award, I wanted to bring more effort into promoting Fukui plums and Wakasa Town,” said Yusuke Nakanishi (aged 34), who developed the ramen.
Using the flesh and essence of Benisashi plums, which are a breed of meaty plums with small seeds, the ramen is assembled with springy noodles and a salt-flavoured soup.
“Having the perfect amount of sourness, and without being fatty, it is completed with a light flavour,” says Nakanishi, proud of his work.
“I was thinking of a way I can contribute in stimulating the local area, by using the Japanese plums that have been close to me since I was very young,” explains Nakanishi, regarding when he started development last July, going through roughly four months of trial and error. Nakanishi continually adjusted the flavour of the plums, the hardness of the noodles, and the balance of the salt flavour; and from last November, he was able to offer the item in his own ramen shop “Menya Ginga”, located in the Minamimaekawa district of Wakasa Town.
The competition that awarded the special gold prize was hosted at the National Ume Summit Convention, an event created by the 13 Japanese plum production areas spread across the country. The event took place in Shizuoka Prefecture on February 7th and 8th; among eleven other items in the competition, the Ume Ramen received first place.
On February 28th, at Wakasa Town’s Libra Wakasa, Town Mayor Yutaka Morishita presented Nakanishi with a special gold prize certificate.
“The flavour of the plums and the right amount of saltiness made it very pleasant to eat; it was received favourably at a tasting [conducted by the head of the local government]. I hope we can work hard together to establish this as a new local specialty of this town,” delivered Town Mayor Morishita in a speech.
“I’m happy to have had this chance to reaffirm the deliciousness of Fukui plums with the local residents. Taking the momentum of receiving this award, I want to continue promoting Fukui plums even more,” declared Nakanishi with enthusiasm.
The Ume Ramen is priced at ¥1,000 (tax included). The noodles and soup are also available for purchase. Inquiries can be made through Menya Ginga’s phone line: 0770 (45) 2511.