The ultimate ramen-eating utensil from Aichi Prefecture has found a home in the one of the world’s premier modern art museum gift shops.
Sugakiya is a ramen chain found throughout the central Chubu region of Japan with its headquarters in Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture. Popular enough with the locals to warrant the title of “Aichi Soul Food,” the chain is just as well-known for its distinctive stainless steel “fork spoons” that are served alongside the noodles. Unlike the typical fork-spoon hybrid design of a spork, Sugakiya’s version is essentially a fully functional spoon with four prongs extending from the outer rim:
The sporks, as we’ll refer to them hereafter, were originally manufactured in conjunction with Noritake, a Japanese tableware and technology company also headquartered in Aichi Prefecture. The company hopes to reduce environmental waste by eliminating the need for disposable wooden chopsticks, which are typically used to eat noodles. Of course, the biggest perk for foodies is that their spork’s design allows diners to savor both the broth and the noodles at the same time. Perhaps they’re the next big thing for people who want to enjoy a bowl of noodle soup but have trouble using chopsticks…?
In fact, New York City’s Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has already recognized their ingenuity and has sold the sporks in the MoMA store under the name “Ramen Spoon/Fork set” for the past few years. Upon stumbling across the product listing online, one of our Japanese sister-site’s reporters who hails from Mie Prefecture, a neighbor of Aichi Prefecture, was overcome by a pang of nostalgia for Sugakiya ramen. However, the chain doesn’t exist in Tokyo, so he promptly ordered some packs of instant Sugakiya noodles as well as one of the unique sporks to recreate the sensation of dining back home. Here’s what he received in the mail:
▼ The product as sold through MoMA’s store
▼ It even comes with “Sugakiya” engraved into the back.
▼ The instant ramen came packaged with this Sugakiya mascot character.
▼ These prepared noodles look good on their own…
▼ …but the spork really completes the full dining experience.
At this point, feel like trying out the spork for yourself? The good news is that you don’t have to go all the way to Aichi, Japan, or even New York City to purchase one: you can order them online in sets of two from MoMA’s online store or from the MoMa store on Amazon Japan. If you live in Japan, don’t forget to also order some Sugakiya packs of noodles to go with it!
All photos © RocketNews24