Thursday, January 11, 2007

Augh, so true. Although, living on campus for 4 years, I was never such a starving college student as to eat ramen for every meal (that's Santiago's territory), I definitely ate my fair share, generally cup of noodle (not the traditional cellophaned ramen brick, but the little styrofoam cup that I feel sooo comfortable putting in the microwave). I have fond memories of oversleeping for brunch, borrowing Laurel and Amelia's hotpot, and brewing up a nice sodium filled breakfast.

Ramen noodles, by contrast, are a dish of effortless purity. Like the egg, or tea, they attain a state of grace through a marriage with nothing but hot water. After three minutes in a yellow bath, the noodles soften. The pebbly peas and carrot chips turn practically lifelike. A near-weightless assemblage of plastic and foam is transformed into something any college student will recognize as food, for as little as 20 cents a serving.

There are some imperfections. The fragile cellophane around the ramen brick tends to open in a rush, spilling broken noodle bits around. The silver seasoning packet does not always tear open evenly, and bits of sodium essence can be trapped in the foil hollows, leaving you always to wonder whether the broth, rich and salty as it is, is as rich and salty as it could have been. The aggressively kinked noodles form an aesthetically pleasing nest in cup or bowl, but when slurped, their sharp bends spray droplets of broth that settle uncomfortably about the lips and leave dots on your computer screen.

Now I think about it, the article should think about those cup of noodles. They require even less than ramen - you don't even need a freaking bowl! It also doesn't even consider EasyMac. No one eats regular mac'n'cheese any more in college - who has fresh butter and milk sitting around? It's definitely in ramen territory as far as ease goes.

So take that, Times editorialist. You really don't know your instant noodles - although you can write about them rather eloquently, so I'll give you that.

On an unrelated note, Times online has this feature where you can press alt and click on any word and get a definition or encyclopedia entry. That's pretty cool!


Silvs said...

hey so i had no idea you read my blog. and all of a sudden i saw these random comments. sorry for never responding. hope i didn't come off as a flake.

Anonymous said...

Hey Em. I put a dash of chili paste and rice wine vinegar + sliced mushrooms and celery in my Top Ramen. It becomes something resembling hot and sour soup.