Ramen Fads: My Public Facepalm Manifesto

I guess I have come to the point where my crankiness has pushed me beyond the edge. What’s more, I think it’s a sign of my impending doom as someone who is getting older and coming to the point of no return: the cranky rant. Strangely enough, my love for instant noodles has influenced me to put pen to paper, or in this case, fingers to keyboard.

My first thought on writing this article is the classic story of an old man telling his whiny grandson about walking uphill both ways to school in twenty feet of snow ‘back in my day.’ Well, I don’t think my day was that long ago.

In my day, I never heard anyone at a restaurant pleading with their children to finish their french fries; french fries were a treat. They came out with purple and green ketchup and blue french fries in the frozen aisle of the supermarket to appease children in ways that they didn’t even knew needed appeasing. Frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that had the crusts removed – now that’s some laziness. The most egregious sign of a society starved for effort was seeing pre made Kool-Aid in Walmart the other day; a truly sad state of affairs when making KoolAid is just too much effort. I should also mention that in the same store trip, I saw chocolate toothpaste.

The same kind of logicbrings about some pretty bizarre food fads. I’ll give it to the Cronut – I’ve never had one, but those little suckers sound pretty damn good. By the way, I added the ‘damn’ in there to effect a wizened or grizzled attitude.

There have been a few ‘crazes’ as of late going on in the ramen world I think are rather inane. The beginning of this was the ramen burger. While I haven’t had one of the ones created by Keizo Shimamoto, I’ve made one with instant noodles. It made the Korean Herald section in the Los Angeles times – front page and all. To be honest, it wasn’t bad, but a little unwieldy. What I really liked about that ramyun burger I made was that the next day, I used the same ramyun and made an actual bowl using the directions on the packaging and enjoyed it thoroughly; much more than the burger.

Another new one is the ramenrito, a burrito made from ramen. This new ‘invention’ really has been a staple of the United States penal system for years. The recipe is simple: take a pack of Nissin or Maruchan instant noodles, smash into bits in the bag, take out the seasoning sachet, add boiling water into the bag, steep three minutes, drain water, add seasoning, and roll tightly into a little log. It can be argued that one must be pretty dumb to end up in prison, but these folks end up being pretty resourceful with what they have once they’re in there.

Articles have grazed my ocular receptors about hot dog buns made from ramen, bowls of ramen in Japan with a veritable mountain of merengue, even an ice cream cone dumped into a bowl of noodles. Why do we do this? Attention is my first guess. It reminds me of an episode of the TLC show ‘Here Comes Honey Boo Boo’ when a surplus of egg nog and hotdogs comes together poetically in a new holiday classic: bobbing for hotdogs.

Today I saw the moist egregiously disturbing offense in an article that originated on RocketNews24: pudding ramen. Apparently, Taiwanese people are now taking Nissin Cup Noodles and adding a small pudding cup to them. Yes. Really. Pudding. Of course, this was also the same day I saw an article about ramen burger creator Keizo Shimamoto’s revelation that nothing could go better with the ramen burger than the ramen french fry.

As an altruistic noodle proponent, I invoke the long forgotten Susan Powter and say ‘stop the insanity!’

Isn’t a bowl of ramen good enough? I’m just like everyone else – I love taking pictures of food. But it seems these days, a viral post about some quirky take on a regular foodstuff which is so versatile already just for the sake of some kind of exposure just seems downright silly, especially if it doesn’t really taste that great. Cheese in ramyun is something I never seem to get enough flak about; eggs too. Seems rather tame compared to pudding now, doesn’t it? I wouldn’t put hotdogs in my Cheerios just to get some kind of attention from the foodie world for twenty-four hours.

Anyways, so there’s what happens when I prepare for a new The Ramen Rater’s Noodle News post on a Sunday morning. It was bound to happen. Now I will happily start reviewing another instant noodle. Happy first day of Summer!

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