Flavour: Sabor a Limón
Format: foam cup
Identifiables: noodle frustum, spice, veggie bits
Sodium: 1.70 grams
"Sabor a Limón" is translated helpfully on the package as "Lime Flavor". Yes, that's exactly what the world needed... lime-flavoured ramen. Enchilosa is apparently an ersatz-Mexican brand of "cup ramen". In fact, I tried one of their other flavours – "Con Camaron" – as an early test run of my rating system and review format before I started this blog, but I figured that the weird one should be the Enchilosa review that I actually publish, and most fittingly as the last review of Batch One. I'll combine both reviews into one. For that first cup, I said:
"Hey, Keet?" I hear you ask. "How can you tell when your cup of ramen is an off-brand?"
"There are many ways, but one comes to mind," I answer. "When you move to pull the paper top back halfway to put the water in, part of the foam cup breaks off with it."
Upon poking around the company's website (Union Foods) I find that there's a reason the cup came apart. It's environmentally conscious. After all, noodles that spill to the ground are absorbed back into the ecosystem more readily than when mixed with the mass of preservatives that my body is built out of by now. Actially, I exaggerate; the noodles did not spill, and in fact cooked up just fine, a standard pull-lid-back-halfway fill. Still, I'm docking points for a cup that could well have fed the very earth upon which we walk rather than Yours Truly.
This particular cup did not break apart, but I had such difficulty getting the cellophane off of it that it nearly did. I stared at the IKEA chopsticks in my hand and considered. Would I ever see a Mexican eating ramen with lime-green plastic chopsticks? Of course not! I swapped out for the white ones. Boiling water went into the cup, up to the water-ridge, and I waited for three long minutes. Instant noodles based on a fruit flavour? Madness, I would think. The very notion frightened yet titillated me.
Upon comsumption, my mind kept trying to cross-reference the flavour with that of Trix breakfast cereal, and that is the wrong response. The tanginess of the lime really did prove a slightly interesting variation on what would otherwise be a fairly bland, mildly-spicy noodle. The bits of sweet corn to soak up the bulk of the flavour, and the faux-chicken (textured soy protein – I'm tempted to nickname it "Inexplicameat") seemed pointless and even a bit distasteful.
The overall impression I get is that there is a niche market here consisting of fruit-loving Mexican noodle-eaters, and that that niche is still not filled in a brilliant way with this brand but they are perhaps mollified. It's a pity that it's on the weak side of average; I wanted to like it more.
That concludes Batch One of the Cheaper than Food: the Ramen Break reviews. Paradoxically, this doesn't mean that things will slow down. In fact, now that I have a wide selection for Batch Two: Revenge of the Noodle, things will speed up considerably once I get a photo of this upcoming batch. Stay tuned, ramen fans!
Also, I hope we all learned something new today. The name for a cone that's truncated on a plane parallel to its base is a frustum.
Numbers: packaging 2, preparation 4, heat 2, flavour 2, overall 2
Music: Michael Jackson - HIStory - Stranger in Moscow