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Ramen Calm!

Community Submission by Andrea Schisler

Consistency, especially in dishes including noodles and other grain-based components, is very important to the overall quality of a dish. Even if the flavor is amazing, the dish will be ruined if the texture is unpleasant. A few weeks ago, Poudre’s first-period Media Analysis class brought in many different types of ramen noodles to try and analyze. There were four surveys that were created to evaluate different components of the noodles we were testing. One of those surveys asked about the texture of everything we tried. The results showed us that the texture of all the different kinds of ramen had a major impact on their overall enjoyment of them.

The survey asked two simple questions about the texture of each of the brands we had on our spread of noodles: “Which of these had the best noodle consistency?” and “Which of these had the worst noodle consistency?" Most of the responses to the question about the best consistency answered that the “Hot and Spicy” brand was the best. There was only one vote in that category for the “Mike’s Mighty Good” brand. Answers to the second question were mixed. Most people voted that the worst texture belonged to the “Mike’s Mighty Good” ramen, but there were also two votes for “Tapatio,” one for “Rice with Noodles,” and one for the dry “Ramen Express.”

The two brands that got voted the best and the worst, Hot and Spicy and Mike’s Mighty Good respectively, clearly had very different textures. Hot and Spicy has a typical noodle, the kind you see with most popular ramen brands, with moderate thickness and it was soft and easy to chew. Every flavor we had of this brand also cooked very well and none of them were in any way undercooked or difficult to manage. Mike’s Mighty Good on the other hand had a much thicker noodle which made it much harder to cook through, and while it was still moderately soft, this brand also was missing the typical wavy shape of ramen that people usually look for when purchasing noodles. The noodles were straighter and therefore very unlike the rest of the brands the class was testing. It can be inferred that the unconventional and unfamiliar shape of the noodles this brand has decided to produce made it the most unpopular out of everything the class tried.

According to the other surveys the class made, the texture and the flavor of everything we tried are directly related not only to each other but also to how much the class enjoyed tasting these brands. Mike’s Mighty Good, the brand with the most hated texture also had flavors that people liked the least. So not only did people hate the texture of this brand, the flavor was also found to be incredibly unappetizing. Both the texture and the flavor together created an all-around poor experience for our tasters. The same sort of results was found for the Hot and Spicy brand. All the flavors that the brand had to offer were generally well-liked, just like the texture of the noodles.

The texture is a major influence in any kind of dish. It is an incredibly important thing to keep track of when you are trying to make or judge the quality of any food. Knowing what kind of textures are favored in different dishes will help you maximize the satisfaction and enjoyment of food. Although the flavor is also important and directly related to consistency in a dish, texture has a very large impact and is one of the most important things to keep in mind involving food.

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