Lamune or Ramune Soda?
Summer is just around the corner and Asian Food Grocer has just what you need to quench your thirst, Japanese Ramune Soda! These incredibly iconic marble topped sodas are very popular in Japan during the warm summer months. Because they were so popular over there, they essentially exploded on the scene here in America. But what is a Ramune? You may be asking yourself this question if you happen live under a rock... or in a cave. So, let us give you the 411 on these fantastically fizzy fountain drinks.
Ramune is a carbonated soft drink straight from the Land of The Rising Sun. The word "Ramune" is actually derived from the sound of the English word "Lemonade." As you may know, there is no "L" in the Japanese language. To compensate, the letter "R" is substituted in its place. Therefore Lemonade turns into Ramune! There are tons of flavors too. Here at AsianFoodGrocer.com we carry Original (it taste kind of like a bubble gummy lemon limey flavor), Strawberry, Lychee, Orange, Blueberry, Watermelon, Green Apple, Yuzu (Japanese Grapefruit), Muscat Grape, Raspberry, Pineapple, and more! We have 21 flavors in all, including our must try novelty flavor, Curry! Other novelty flavors include Beef Teriyaki, Wasabi, Octopus, and more. Another strikingly unique quality of these fabulous beverages is its oddly shaped bottle.
Known as the Codd-neck bottle, it was actually invented in Europe in the late 1800s by Hiram Codd. Around 1876, Lemonade and the Codd-necked bottled were both imported to Japan at the same time, making them linked with one another. Instead of using a cork or a bottle top, Codd-neck bottles use a glass marble and a rubber gasket as it was believed, at the time, to be able to contain high pressure carbonated drinks better than conventional methods. During the container's construction, the glass is pinched into a special shape to prevent the marble from falling deep into the bottle. This causes the marble to rattle around like a wind chime as the beverage is consumed, making the drink very well loved by children. To make sure that the marbles have a good seal, the bubbly liquid is pumped into the bottles upside down so that the weight and the pressure formed by the expanding CO2 pushes the marble tight against the seal. On the outside of the bottle there are two dimples, giving the bottle its "alien head" appearance (we think it looks more like an octopus). The two depressions in the bottle aren't just for decoration, they act as barriers to keep the marble from rolling back into the opening of the bottle, making it easier to drink from. Although there is a blockade to stop the marble, it still takes a bit of skill to drink from the ramune bottle. Shoot, it takes some skill just to open it!
It can be a little tricky to open a Ramune Soda. What you want to do is remove the white plastic wrapper from around the top of the bottle. Important: DO NOT THROW AWAY THE GREEN PLASTIC CIRCLE! Or else you will have a very hard time opening the bottle. Punch out the plastic plunger from the perforated ring it's attached to, place it in the hole in the thick plastic mouthpiece, and use it to push the marble down into the bottle with gentle yet firm pressure. As soon as you hear the pop sound of the soda opening, remove your hand quickly. If you're not used to opening Ramune, make sure you've got a towel handy because your Ramune may fuzz out of the bottle. Drink chilled, and enjoy!