Ramen is mostly sold in fast food-like shops with only a counter or food stalls in highly frequented areas. Every prefecture in Japan is famous for its own special variation of ramen. It is also readily available as "instant ramen" in super markets and convenience shops; the most famous brand is Cup Noodle from Nissin.
"American" ramen is generally chicken-flavored, and usually very mild, as opposed to traditional, Asian ramen, which is generally spicy and flavored with vegetables and such. However, some avoid American ramen due to the usually high amount of MSG within it.
The competition in the ramen restaurant business is parodied in the film Tampopo by director Juzo Itami where the protagonists are in search of the perfect ramen recipe.
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See also: List of Linux computer viruses