The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

RAMEN NOODLE NOSTALGIA
unlimited shelf life
During David Letterman's interview with the "yawning boy" from President Bush's Orlando rally, the kid mentioned that one of his favorite snacks was Ramen noodles. This triggered my memories of snarfing down packet after packet of those things during my college years.

As it happened, I had a couple of packets of Ramen in my pantry, both chicken mushroom flavor. I hate to tell you how long they'd been in there, but here's a strong hint: The copyright information on the wrapping was from 1993! I think I bought them way back when just to have a couple of can't-miss non-perishables on hand at all times. I never touched them, and it's probably been nearly ten years since I prepared and ate the dormroom staple.

So, this afternoon, after getting in from some fun-and-sun, I remembered those two packets just sitting there, and decided it was time to revive an old favorite. I boiled up the noodles in about five minutes. Mindful that the chicken-mushroom flavoring was basically nothing but salt (which I avoid as much as possible), and inspired by the wild culinary directions others have taken with the lowly Ramen noodle, I tossed the flavo-pack and cooked with low-sodium chicken boullion, and after draining, tossed with cracked pepper and lemon juice.

They weren't bad. Despite my attempt at pizzazz, they still tasted about what I remembered they were like: Chewy, bland and more functional than flavorful. They weren't bad as a snack, but I wouldn't touch them as part of a real meal. Looking back, I can't believe I attempted to survive a whole summer in college eating nothing but these things (as it was, I ended up going out for a lot of fast food that summer).

It was a nice trip down memory lane, via tastebuds. But I think I've had my fill of the little noodles for a spell. The other Ramen packet will stay put in the pantry.