Nissin Choice Ramen "Slow Stewed Beef"

Brand: Nissin Choice Ramen
Flavour: Slow Stewed Beef
Format: brick-in-packet
Packets: one
Identifiables: noodle disc, flavour powder
Sodium: 0.80 grams

Nissin elected to introduce a line of health-conscious ramen in America. It's called "Choice Ramen" and it features some very interesting claims. I'll avoid getting into a discussion of modern nutrition here, but the package does state the ramen to have one-fifth the fat of their normal product. More specifically, it says "80% Fat Free", which implies that it's twenty percent fat, but there is a small disclaimer that it's a compariton to their normal ramen, which is especially strange to say since their normal ramen is about one-fifth fat to begin with. On the back of the package, somebody wised up and changed the claim to "80% less fat", but without a disclaimer. I suspect I will never understand marketing types, and I also suspect that this is a good thing.

I'll also note that the primary ingredient in the flavour mix is monosodium glutamate. This isn't inherently bad, but some people are sensitive to the stuff, so it's a point to consider.

The package itself opens easily to reveal a yellow noodle disc in its own cellophane wrapper. That's slightly strange, and I find myself wondering if this is for some genuine concern of preservation or an attempt to lend more prestige to the product than the usual ramen holds. The preparation is also slightly unusual; the flavour packet is added after the ramen is cooked. At any rate, I followed the directions and let the noodles cook while I prepared my white chopsticks. White chopsticks, because it's light cuisine, get it? Perhaps I'm catching on to this marketing thing after all.

Upon tasting, I was struck by the flavour. Far from any beef ramen I'd had previously, this was tangy but not terribly rich, and oddly a little sweet. The umami of the MSG gave added dimension in the same way a sickly yellow light might give warmth to a jail cell. I can't help but wonder if this is supposed to give the impression of slow-stewed flavour at the same time as "light" cuisine, but it all seemed almost insulting. It's probably the lower-fat formulation to blame.

Numbers: packaging 3, preparation 2, heat 1, flavour 2, overall 2
Music: Prodigy - Mindfields (LT3M Radio with DJ Failover)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I tried this brand of ramen once. It made me ill. I had to throw it away, and I cooked up a Sapporo Ichiban one instead.

// Kit S.