Between the 26th of April and 9th of May 2013 5,198 members of @Nifty answered a number of questions about udon, Japanese wheat-based noodles. Here are some of the highlights.
First, when asked how much they loved it, 2% said it was to die for, 32% loved it, 43% liked it, 18% had no particular preferences, just 4% didn’t really like it, a rounded 0% hated it, and no-one would die rather than eat it! I’m in the like category.
Next, regarding whether it was better hot or cold, 44% chose hot, 24% had no preference, 6% preferred it cold, 25% liked it hot in winter and cold in summer, and 1% disliked it either way.
Regarding when they liked to eat it, women had more preferences than me in almost every category; just under a half of both sexes chose at lunchtime, 27% anf 34% of women in cold weather, 24% of men and 35% when their didn’t want to spend time or effort eating anything else, and so on down. The two times that men prefered it more than women was any time (24% versus 22%) and after drinking, 7% versus 2%!
Now, an interesting question; there are two main variants of broth that udon is served with; Kanto dashi from the Tokyo region, and Kansai dashi from the Osaka area. Kansai dashi is an almost clear broth subtly flavoured with kombu seaweed, Kanto dashi is basically 90% soy sauce, or at least that’s how it tastes to me! The results of this question were split by the regions of Japan; 25% to 30% of those in East Japan prefered Kanto dashi, versus under 5% in the West. Tokai, which is the Nagoya area was in no-man’s land, with about 18% siding with Kanto. About 35% in East Japan liked both styles equally, whilst under 10% in the West did. Kyushu, however, had about 18% sitting on the fence. Interestingly, even in Kanto itself more prefered Kansai dashi (about 33%), and a few percent more in other eastern and northern areas were also so inclined. In Kansai, over 90% supported the home team, and about 80% in parts further west.
When asked what flavouring accents they liked, sliced green onions was tops with 90%, chili-based spices was second at about 66%, then bonita fish flakes at 28% or so. Yuzu, citrus peel, was just under 20% despite being my favourite.
Ahh, I’ve got all hungry now!
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