Ramen is the noodle

Heather Fors

A man and a woman are just sitting down for a romantic, candle-lit dinner. The man, dressed in a fine black tuxedo, deeply inhales the tantalizing aroma of the delicate feast perfectly laid out before him.
He asks his drop-dead gorgeous date, clad in an ever so sexy cocktail dress, “What’s for dinner?”
She replies in her most sensual voice, “Ramen Ö la flambe, braised ramen with hollandaise sauce, poached ramen with asparagus spears and for desert, ramen jubilee.”
At the same time a gang of young college students are hanging out in their dormitory room. With no money and no stove, they have become experts in the art of alternative ramen cooking ways.
While water boils on the hot plate, ramen simmers in the coffee maker and more noodles are being nuked in the microwave. With the plethora of condiment packets pilfered from the McDonalds, Taco Bell and Arby’s on campus, students can spice up the otherwise tasteless gruel.
The versatility of this delectable delight is what makes these ancient vittles such a hot commodity. In 1997 companies from 10 countries gathered to spread the ramen wealth throughout the world.
Since Momofuku Ando’s development of the instant ramen 40 years ago in Osaka, Japan, the noodle craze has exploded. About 40 billion packets of ramen were consumed globally in 1996.
Innovations of the wavy wonders, such as Campbell’s Baked Ramen cup of soup, mark the success of the succulent noodle. These innovations are not limited to the marketed, mass-produced blocks — the noodle’s popularity is also evident in bookstores and on the World Wide Web.
Ramen lovers can pick up tips on how to snaz up their plain old dinner or snack from new cook books such as “101 Ways to Make Ramen Noodles” or from one of several sites on the Internet.
Students at universities around the country share their tasty recipes for successful noodle dishes.
Chris Cruz from the University of South Carolina shared his recipe for “Cheap Ass Pasta Salad” on the Web:

Ingredients:

Ramen (one packet)
Creamy Italian Salad dressing

Directions:
Get the universal solvent boilin’, and then add them thar noodles. When they’re done (you know when!), drain em. Run ’em under some cold water till they’re cold (ain’t nothin’ funk nastier than hot pasta salad!). Liberally apply the salad dressing. Mix with a fork, change into a swimsuit and DIVE RIGHT IN!
I guess if you are feeling particularly industrious you could boil some veggies (peas, carrot slices, all that), chill them and mix then in. I guess.

The invasion of this Chinese delicacy into all manners of pop culture is a true mark of accomplishment.
When college students start inventing recipes which incorporate ramen into their everyday eating habits, the noodle companies know they have a winner.
Its tremendous shelf life, a quality most ramen consumers find especially appealing, will give cockroaches something to munch on for years after any sort of nuclear holocaust. Thus, many would agree, ramen is here to stay — but don’t wait until the last minute to go out and buy some, you never know when you might need it.