You might be wondering what a post discussing exotic cup noodle flavors is doing at an enviro-centric weblog but bear with us: “exotic” is one of those words with positive and negative connotations. Both attributes apply to a food product as bare-bones basic as the humble Cup Noodle. The Nissin company of Japan introduced instant Cup Noodles in late 1971 (almost a half-century ago!) and originally it came in a single, solitary flavor: Chicken.
While revolutionary in and of itself, Nissin’s groundbreaking convenience food concept needed legs to keep running over the long term and chicken legs alone just couldn’t cut it. Beef and Vegetable flavors soon arrived to broaden the selection and, being this is Japan we’re talking about, a KitKat-like exponential explosion of flavors subsequently ensued. Fifty years on, instant ramen aficionados can quench their cup noodle cravings in fifty shades of gravy or, if we’re gonna name names (and we are), from original Chicken to quote-unquote “Luxurious Rich Uni Cream.” That’s “Sea Urchin” for you sushi-challenged types, and ain’t exactly chicken-of-the-sea! (images via Recommendation of Unique Japanese Products and Culture)
Now Sea Urchins aren’t an endangered species but Sea Turtles… Soft-Shell Turtles to be precise? Let’s just spit it out right here & now: turtle soup ain’t cool, even when served hot and/or with noodles. This may present a conundrum of sorts for someone considering Nissin Rich Cup Noodle Suppon Turtle Soup Flavor. This product actually does include turtle extract, albeit in minuscule quantities. Even so, if one tries it and likes it, will they be driven to consume more traditional turtle soups containing heapin’ helpin’s o’ turtle meat? Does that make Nissin Rich Cup Noodle Suppon Turtle Soup Flavor the “gateway drug” of instant ramens? (image via Recommendation of Unique Japanese Products and Culture)
No Bull Prize
Yeah, we know, “Sea Cows” (aka Dugongs and Manatees) aren’t cows though they do live in the sea and, being mammals, provide their offspring with milk. We’re pretty sure – fairly certain, even – most environmental types know this too. That being the case, chowing down on Hokkaido Milk Seafood Cup Noodle shouldn’t prompt an eco-ethical crisis. Vegan kosher-keepers, on the other hand, might want to play it safe for the sake of huge manatee. (image via Recommendation of Unique Japanese Products and Culture)
Missing your old health food hangouts? Check out No Vital Signs: 7 Abandoned Health Food Stores!