USA Today, one of the most widely circulated newspapers in America, has been running a series on cool foodie trends across the country, with dispatches from each of the 50 states.
The latest entry in the series plays up the evolution of ramen noodles from just a 25-cent staple of cash-strapped college kids to a hot ingredient at popular restaurants. A noodle manufacturer called it “craft ramen” — in which chefs mix ramen up with local flavors in regional recipes.
“I’ve seen brisket ramen in Texas, but also shrimp and citrus-infused ramen in Tampa,” Kenshiro Uki, a Sun Noodle executive, told USA Today.
The trend isn’t brand spanking new, of course. Restaurants in Maine and across the country have been using ramen creatively for a half decade or more. But it seems to show no sign of slowing down. Food and culture writer Melissa Kravitz wrote that to the contrary, “ramen is becoming a facet of American cuisine, a canvas for which chefs can show off their favorite ingredients, techniques, and perhaps even introduce new concepts to the American palate.”
So where’s the best place in Maine to get a taste of the “craft ramen” craze?
The USA Today post, which names a go-to spot in each of the 50 states, features The Honey Paw in Portland, with the following excerpt: “The Honey Paw prides itself on serving New England cuisine with Asian influence, like a paitan ramen topped with chicken thigh roulade, soy marinated egg, pickled mushrooms, nori (dried seaweed) and charred corn.”
Click here for another guide to some of the best ramen in Maine, featuring the acclaimed Pai Men Miyake (below) in Portland and Umami in Bangor.
Where’s your favorite place to get ramen in Maine? Did USA Today get it right? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or share them with the post on Facebook.