Friday, February 12, 2010

Oh the burning...

About a week ago Lisa, Hiro, and I tried a ramen place in Matsuyama we had heard about called Ka-ramen. We had a pretty hard time finding the place, since it wasn't marked, and everyone gave us the wrong directions, but after about a half hour of walking in circles, we managed to find it. It's a little Korean noodle place, pretty hole in the wall. However, they do have a challenge. Their ramen comes in 25 different levels of spicy, and from what I was told, if you can eat their spiciest ramen in less than ten minutes, you get to put your name on the wall. Not one to shy away from a challenge, especially one involving spicy food, I confidently ordered a 25x bowl. I assumed that the spiciness would come from a special broth, or maybe some hot peppers added into the mix. Well, I wasn't too far off with the latter prediction. Turns out that the 25x stands for the 25 scoops of ground chili pepper the cook dumped into my bowl of ramen. You can see the picture up top. The other guy running the place hands me the bowl, grins, puts a timer right next to me, and says, "Go."

So basically this is a bowl of chili pepper with some noodles and flavored water added to it. The consistency was quite thick, a textbook example of a non-Newtonian fluid. Actually, for those playing the home game, the technical classification would be a dilatant fluid. Well, for anyone who knows their fluid mechanics, that sort of fluid is very difficult to swallow, even when it's not made up of capsaisin-laden particles, and there's no time limit. Really, the stuff wasn't that spicy, I eat chilis all the time, but it was so thick I just couldn't eat it fast enough. One more minute and I would have had it. Anyways, the final result is the second picture. I think it gives you a better idea of exactly how much pepper was in this bowl. So no signature on the wall for me. I don't think I'll do the challenge again, it just didn't taste good at all.

And as for the aftermath... well, speaking of Newton, I think his third law about equal and opposite reactions pretty well covers it. I'll just leave it at that.

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