The definition of B-graded gourmet” goes like this. It is an inexpensive, soul food, loved by the local resident.
In a nutshell, it is tasty popular dish at affordable prices. Ever since B-1 Grand prix put a spotlight on “Fujinomiya Chow Mein” that was awarded the 1st prize back in 2006 and 2007 (two years in a row!), Fujinomiya Chow Mein has been respected as the pinnacle of B-graded gourmet. After the B-1 Grand Prix took a big attention, the instantly-made B-graded gourmet was churned out in many places. Those types of “quickie” based on easy thought are not recognized nor supported by the local resident. Sure enough, those dishes became out of sight eventually, even though they got the reward once. However, Fujinomiya Chow Mein is still a genuine local food that “Fujinomiyan (local people in Fujinomiya) loved for a long time.
Here are distinctive characteristics:
- It should use the “made-in-Fujinomiya” (it is a chewy texture) noodle.
- It should use “oil cake”. (Abura-kasu)
- It should use a sprinkling shaved dried bonito (which gives the rich flavor to the noodle)
Since Fujinomiya city is located at the foot of Mt. Fuji, many visitors or worshipper of Mt. Fuji stopped by Fujinomiya from the old days and they enjoyed the local Chow Mein.
To meet the request from those visitors who wished to take the Chow Main with them as a souvenir, the texture of the noodle was developed for the extra storable duration.
I personally enjoyed the authentic Fujinomiya Chow Mein at “Nijiya Mimi” (http://nijiya.sakura.ne.jp/) that is conveniently located for the Fujinomiya station during the railway trip using a famous “youth-18-ticket”.
The “youth-18-ticket” is the seasonal ticket sold by JR group, granting the user with the unlimited travel to anywhere (within JP lines) you want with local trains (not valid for Shinkansen or Limited express) up to 5 days’ use only at a fraction of the cost, 11,850 yen.
It means 2,370 yen per day!
The ticket is only available for a limited time of the year. The master of Nijiya Mimi stated that he sees the surge of customers during the usage period of “youth-18-ticket”.
The Chow Mein of Nijiya Mimi was exactly what Fujinomiya Chow Mein should be, noodles worth biting, oil cake deepening the taste, sprinkled dry bonito adding the ocean flavor.
Enjoy the trip to Fujinomiya using “youth-18-ticket” and taste the king of B-graded gourmet, Fujinomiya Chow Mein”!