Who says that the library is just about books and paper? South Korea recently invented one of the most unique libraries ever founded in the world: the Ramyun Library. And if you’re a devoted fan of Korean culture and heritage, the Ramyun Library is one of the must-visit travel destinations while visiting South Korea. Yet, above everything else, have you ever wondered why Korean Ramyun (ramen) noodles become the most famous Korean food worldwide? Join us as we dive deep into the reasons behind the popularity of this sensational Korean cuisine.
Have You Visited the Korean Ramyun Library?
Library is a place of knowledge and information. However, this place is no longer closely associated with books and paper. And once again, this shift in meaning and popularity is all thanks to South Korea’s recent trend, the Ramyun Library.
Starting from December last year, CU Hongdae Sangsang Store in Mapo District, western Seoul, has become a culinary attraction, boasting an impressive array of over 200 different types of Korean ramyun.
Attracting a varied clientele, ranging from individual ramyun enthusiasts to groups of friends, the store is a popular destination for those keen to delve into its extensive selection.
Initiated by CU, a top convenience store chain in Korea, the Ramyun Library offers a unique twist on the typical convenience store setup.
Since its grand opening on December 4, 2023, the highlight of the store has been an eye-catching display rack with 100 compartments, exclusively showcasing a variety of packaged Korean ramyun.
Showcasing an extensive array of 105 packaged ramyun varieties, this display is carefully curated. It includes 90 well-known choices like “Shin Ramyun” and “Buldak Ramen (Hot Chicken Flavor Ramen)”, plus 15 selections from abroad, featuring Japanese instant ramen and Vietnamese pho. The Ramyun Library also offers an impressive 120 varieties of cup ramyun, totaling an unparalleled 225 different types of the product.
How it Started
The popularity of the Ramyun Library is primarily attributed to the “Hangang Ramyun” trend. It involves savoring ramyun beside the Han River, a practice that evolved into a cultural icon. This unique experience is enhanced by special machines located in convenience stores along the river. And hence, they enable people to prepare ramyun on the spot.
This riverside ramyun-eating custom gained widespread recognition through its depiction in popular Korean media, including variety shows like “Home Alone” and “Running Man.” The concept of cooking instant noodles on-site and enjoying them in a relaxed setting resonated with both locals and tourists, sparking a trend.
Although this trend experienced a dip during the COVID-19 pandemic, the fascination with using these special ramyun machines has crossed international boundaries. It becomes a sought-after activity for visitors.
Now, this cultural phenomenon has expanded its reach to the Ramyun Library in Hongdae, continuing to captivate the interest of ramyun lovers.
Why Ramyun (Ramen) Noodles the Most Popular Korean Food?
So, now that you are aware of the existence of this wonderful Ramyun Library, have you ever wondered why Ramyun noodles become the most popular Korean food worldwide?
Check out some of the reasons behind the popularity of Korean Ramyun noodles. And see whether you can relate to one, if not all, these explanations.
Convenience and Speed
Firstly and foremost, Korean Ramyun noodles are incredibly easy to prepare, requiring only hot water and a few minutes of waiting. This convenience appeals to people with busy lifestyles, students, and those who need a quick meal without much effort.
Secondly, it is a low-cost food option, making it accessible to many people, including those on a budget. This affordability is particularly appealing for students during economic downturns.
Korean Ramyun is highly adaptable and can be customized with various ingredients such as vegetables, eggs, meats, and seafood. This versatility allows people to adjust it to their taste preferences and dietary needs.
Flavor and Variety
Next, a wide range of flavors is available, from mild to extremely spicy, seafood-based to vegetarian. This variety caters to diverse palates and keeps consumers interested in trying new types.
For many, ramyun is considered comfort food. It’s often associated with warm, satisfying feelings as a late-night snack or a meal during colder seasons.
Furthermore, companies producing ramyun are continuously innovating. Both in terms of product development and marketing strategies, they keep the product in the public eye. Thereore, encourages the public’s ongoing interest.
With the globalization of food markets, ramyun is now available in most parts of the world, making it easy for people to access and enjoy regardless of their location.
Korean Entertainment Icons
Last but most importantly, the skyrocketing popularity of Korean entertainment (Kdramas, films, and variety shows) also plays a massive part in hyping Korean ramyun (ramen) noodles as the most popular Korean food.
Some Korean dramas also dedicate special scenes between their characters to highlight Korean ramyun noodles as one of the most essential parts of Korean culture. Whether mixing the noodles in the convenience store or simply spending time together enjoying Korean ramyun straight from its pan, Korean ramyun noodles will always be one of the most crucial scenes in Korean dramas, and a huge part of Korean entertainment icons.
Finally, which of these explanations is relatable enough for you? Also, what are the reasons for your personal fondness for Korean ramyun (ramen) noodles? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
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