Ramen is food perfected; simple, cheap, tasty and reliable.
Ramen is the food of the people and for the people.
Ramen is the quintessential college kid meal and the Recession proof soup of the people. Ramen was also a childhood snack, I enjoyed it uncooked and crunchy.
As we speak I boil those staple squiggly noodles and the air fills with the unmistakable smell of al dente ramen noodles, a subtle, lovely aroma.
The majority of Americans are largely familiar with 3 incarnations of ramen; Top Ramen, Cup Noodles, and Maruchan Ramen. But as I a few blocks from the International District I can stroll to Uwajimaya, the Asia grocery, and walk an entire aisle of ramen noodles. The variety of ramen noodles available is staggering. I walk past the menagerie of cheap eatin and throw a dozen in my cart, each a different flavor with a different set of accoutrements.
Some ramen packages come with 5 or 6 packets of oil and powder. Some come with seeds and octopus ink, some with seaweed and shriveled onions. Some come with tofu that is freeze dried and expands like astronaut food.
But ramens most admirable feature is that it is dirt cheap, averaging at 50 cents a package. I have seen as low as 10 cents. This is a price that has no comparable rival. You can’t get a tootsie roll for 10 cents. If you are hungry and you scoop your couch for change, you will have enough for at least one ramen.
It is actually scientifically impossible to not be able to afford ramen.
Ramen alone is all well and good but it is also the foundation of infinite recipes. Add chicken, seafood, tofu and all manner of veggies. Crack an egg or two, and squirt a healthy dose of Siracha for my personal fav.
And of course ramen is an amazing resource for the traveler. It weighs nothing, is almost free and can be obtained nearly anywhere.
Time to eat, my ramen is done.