Bari-kata ramen

I went to Kyushu this month, and Hakata ramen was of course on my checklist. I had very limited knowledge about Hakata ramen, and all I knew was that it featured pork bone soup base and that it was customary to order extra noodles by paying 100 or 150 yen, rather deciding up front whether you wanted regular portion (namimori) or big portion (oomori). I think I prefer this setup as I tend to overestimate my stomach's capacity. At every ramen place I visited during my stay in Fukuoka, the moment I handed over the ramen ticket to the waiter, he or she would immediately ask me how hard I wanted the noodles to be. A Fukuoka ramen expert told me to go for "bari-kata", or "very hard". In Hakata dialect, "bari" means very, and its pronunciation is similar to "very" in English, so I suspect we may trace its origins back to this English word. Just a wild guess though.

Later on, I  learned that there are even harder options like "Harigane"and "Konaotoshi", which I didn't have chance to try this time. It would seem that Hakata people's passion for hardness go far beyond my expectations.


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