2008-11-21

Nissin "Cup Noodles Souper Meal: Chicken Flavor with Vegetable Medley"

Brand: Nissin
Flavour: Cup Noodles Souper Meal: Chicken Flavor with Vegetable Medley
Format: cardboard bowl
Packets: three
Identifiables: noodle chunk, flavour powder, veggie bits, mystery ooze
Sodium: 2.54 grams

Oh, this one will take some explaining, and I don't know what order to explain in.

This is an American soup bowl. What I mean is that it's essentially a giant chicken-flavoured Cup Noodle but with slightly different veggies and many more herbs and a packet of mystery ooze called "Flavor Enhancer". There is absolutely no spice to it whatsoever, and the flavour is salty and unoffensive. The bowl is massive, and labelled only with English and Spanish directions. There is nothing un-American about the dish except that it was manufactured in China. I felt that it needed a little extra Orientalishness (is it a word? It is now) so not only did I eat it with chopsticks, but I even threw in an extra one. That's right; I'm holding three chopsticks, one for each colour of the Korean flag, in my left hand in that photo. Fear me.

Initially, the package was wrapped in cellophane, and the cellophane kept the loose packet of mystery ooze from getting lost. They could have simply put it inside the sealed bowl, but I think there was supposed to be some kind of impression that it was high-class ramen – I mean, noodle soup – because it had an extra packet. Perhaps I'm just too jaded not only by more complex ramen but also by Americanised marketing tactics, but I found myself unimpressed. I unwrapped the package, peeled the lid completely off as per directions, and then stared inside.

The noodles were in a strange shape, something like a truncated piece of a sphere. I searched for a geometric term. Circle is to sector as sphere is to... what? I gave up and opened the powder and veggies to pour them in before adding room-temperature water. Why do they even put the stuff in packets, when the standard styrofoam Cup Noodle just has it all mixed together from the start?

After five minutes in the microwave and two minutes to sit, I opened the packet of mystery ooze – I mean, "Flavor Enhancer" – and squeezed it in. The liquid inside started to come out dark brown, and then changed to clear. The fear began to set in. This is America, my internal voice started to cry. We just aren't ready for things like good beer, intelligent television, and liquid that changes colour as it is poured. Nonetheless, in it went, and I stirred.

The truth is, it's not bad. It's not terribly interesting, but it does taste like chicken soup, the noodles are the right texture, and except for perhaps the cabbage, the vegetables are right. If you're looking for a gateway drug to bring timid family members into the wide world of multi-packet ramen, this might be the way to go... the truth, justice, and American way to go.

Numbers: packaging 3, preparation 3, heat 1, flavour 3, overall 3
Music: Rush - Exit... Stage Left - Freewill

3 comments:

Chipacabra said...

If you lop off a piece of a sphere with a plane, you get a sphere cap. If you lop off the rounded part of a sphere cap with another plane, you get a sphere segment. Yay ramen geometry!

Julia said...

@Chipacabra Or a spherical frustum!

Because "frustum" is too cool a word to not be used more often.

Also, Keet. You know I love ya, but I can't believe you didn't make a "Secret of the Ooze" reference. *shakes head sadly*

Jessie Tracer / Electric Keet said...

Chipacabra:
Ah! I'd seen some conflicting answers online, but I'll go with "sphere cap" for now. Thanks!

Julia:
Oh, man. I'd totally forgotten about that subtitle until you mentioned it. I will say that I was very tempted to refer to it as "mutagenic ooze" and riff off of that for a bit, but I'm trying to keep any explicit "oh holy crap she's a furry" references to a minimum for now. *grin*