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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Adventures in Garlic

As I was saying, a dark and brooding man, I am.  What is the cause of this darkness, this brooding?  Things are mysterious and shrouded in rich vapors, but if I could point to a cause, I would say it dates back to my mother, who used to slap me in the face while saying the universe is an empty, eternal void.  She would then roast black garlic in the oven and send me on my way.  I would sit on benches and munch on my roasted black garlic, contemplating how meaningless everything is.

Now, all I do with my life is seek out the best garlic dishes, not because it matters or gives my life purpose, but because one might as well do something with one's time while one waits to slip into the void.  I've had chicken with 40 cloves of garlic, garlic mashed potatoes, shrimp scampi with garlic, garlic bread, garlic everything.  Recently, a new ramen shop opened up called Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop.  When I heard Ivan had a roasted garlic mazemen soup, I knew I had to go.

Ivan is a Caucasian man who spent time in Japan learning the ways of ramen. He opened up shops in Japan but decided to open one here in New York.  Once in his  New York shop,  I ordered the roasted garlic mazemen, saying, in as brooding a manner as possible, "May I please have the roasted garlic mazemen."  Soon, a bowl was placed before me, filled with a rich, redolent liquid smelling of pungent, deeply flavored garlic.  I took a slurp and was mesmerized by the flavors, which first filled my sinuses and then my entire being.  I was elated by the pungent yet ohsoslightly sweet garlic which danced like a mentally ill giraffe on my tongue.

I slowly ate my ramen, allowing the complex broth the time it needed to settle and become even richer, more intense.  It was as if garlic had been pulsed in a blender and then aged for years in garlic barrels.  The garlic.  The mystery.