Ramen is one of the most popular food in Japan. The origin of ramen is Chinese soup noodle, and Japanese people have modified it in a couple of hundred years and created new Japanese food. When I visited Taiwan and Hong Kong, I found that ramen is recognized as Japanese food. There are many ramen shops in Canada, but they are usually inauthentic; most of them are ran by Koreans or Chinese. There is a wide variety of ramen in Japan, but Canadian inauthentic ramen are clearly different from any of Japanese ramen. Let me put in this way. Some authentic ramen are as different as German shepherd and bulldog, but they are still dogs. On the other hand, Canadian inauthentic ramen is like prairie dog.
Recently a friend of mine in Vancouver posted some food photos on facebook. At a glance, I could tell they were Japanese food though they were not “traditional” Japanese food. If traditional Japanese food is Siamese cat, the food in the photos are like Persian cat, which is clearly different from typical Canadian style Japanese food that looks like meerkat. I even don’t know how I distinguish between German shepherd and prairie dog, or Siamese cat and meerkat (please do not take it literally. I’m not that much damn), but the difference is obvious for me. By the way, a day after posting photos of Japanese food, she posted photos of what looks like Chinese food to me, but I could not tell if it was authentic Chinese food or not.
I think this is all about authenticity; if you know it, you can tell, but you cannot tell how you can tell.