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Noodle shops proliferate, offer greater variety

Date Posted: 2003-02-28

Everyone who has ever lived or visited in Okinawa is familiar with soba, or Okinawan noodles. This love affair is shared equally with locals, tourists and foreigners, many of whom slurp the noodles almost daily.

Noodle shops are also said to be a very profitable business, and their number is ever increasing. As they increase, some shop owners are creating their own varieties of the popular dish in order to attract customers. Some of the novelties include a drive-through soba shop on Highway 58 in Oyama, and varieties that give the soba a taste of hamburger, or use tomato sauce, sesame seeds and other flavors not traditionally associated with Okinawan noodles.

Traditionally, Okinawan noodles are topped with meat, pork ribs, vegetables, egg, fish or chicken. But customers at Matsusoba noodle shop in Haebaru who venture to try some of their less familiar flavors generally leave satisfied. I never thought that you could eat soba in tomato sauce, but it was good, Junko Miyagi, a housewife just fininshing her meal at Matsusoba said.

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