Ramen: the ultimate college meal. Across the county, ramen is stereotyped as the typical food for college students due to its price and ease of preparation.
But despite the hype, is ramen really that good?
My roommates, Hannah Barnard and Emma Price, and I decided to put ramen through the ringer and see if we could survive eating only ramen if need be. Of course, none of us wanted to solely dedicate our weekly dietary plan to ramen so we chose to test six different kinds in one night instead.
We went for the typical plastic bag Maruchan Ramen. All of them cost 25 cents from Kroger, which is a pretty good deal for a single meal.
Creamy Chicken, Oriental, Pork, Soy Sauce, Beef, and Roast Chicken were the contestants in this dried noodle showdown. None of us had ever tried any of these flavors before so we didn’t have any previous bias as far as taste goes. In fact, Emma had never tried ramen and Hannah and I had only ever eaten the chicken one. We judged each of the flavors for overall texture, flavor, and whether we would eat it again or not.
The texture and flavor categories were rated from 1-5 with one being the best. Would we eat again was a simple yes, no, or maybe.
Creamy Chicken was the winner with an average rating of 3 in texture, 2.3 in flavor, and three yeses’. If given the choice between eating creamy chicken ramen or Main Dining Room we definitely would have chosen MDR but it was better than the others by a good bit.
Following closely behind was Roast Chicken. The overall texture and flavor were relatively the same. The only big difference was that the Roast Chicken did have more of a distinct flavor. We all decided that we would probably not eat it again though, mainly due to the strong flavor.
At first glance, the Oriental and Soy Sauce ramen appeared the exact same. They both smelled similar and looked pretty similar as well. This was very deceiving though because they actually ended up having pretty different flavors. The Oriental tasted like the onion soup that is served at most hibachi restaurants while the Soy sauce tasted exactly like downing a container of Kikkoman soy sauce would taste. We gave the Soy Sauce a 4.25 in flavor and the Oriental a 3.75 in flavor. We also decided that we probably wouldn’t eat either of these again if given the choice.
By far the worst of them was the Beef. It did not taste anything like beef and almost had a musty after taste. We gave it a 5 for texture, a 5 for flavor, and a capitalized, underlined, and highlighted no for if we would ever eat it again. Although we followed directions while cooking it, when it was ready to eat the seasoning was still very grainy and did not soak in like the other seasoning packets did.
“I would rather eat nothing for a week than have to eat that again,” Price said.
Pork was also not a winner in our book. The texture was a 4, the flavor was a strong 5, and none of us ever wanted to try it again. One small bite was enough for all of us and it was immediately put into the trash before we continued tasting any of the other ones.
Our overall experience with ramen was not a good one but that’s not to say that all ramen everywhere is bad. We only tried a small portion of the packaged ramen population. There are so many different ways you can dress up plain ramen so don’t just take my word for it, try some ramen yourself and see if you could maintain the college diet stereotype.