More People Should be Eating Ramen with Kraft Singles
I know... I know.. but hear me out.
Imagine this. You're an American kid in the mid-2000's, halfway through your second grade year. You were looking forward to a weekend of scooter-ing around your local cul-de-sac but tragically, a cold has left you bedridden and woebegone. You stare out your bedroom window, longing to join your neighbors outside. But alas! You have a headache, a slight fever and a sore throat. You may as well be dead.
Suddenly, there is a knock at your door; and you are snapped from your stupor by the sound of your mother's voice. She enters your room and brings with her lunch, but not just any old PB&J. No, there is only one highly-processed food product that could possibly free you from these dire straits. And lo and behold, your angel of a mother presents it to you. Relief and insurmountable joy flood your small, 2nd grade body. The day is instantly saved.
Cheesy Ramen Noodles.
Okay, okay. I know what you're thinking. Did I really just waste 45 seconds of my life falling for nostalgia-bait only to be confronted with Cheesy Ramen Noodles?
Yeah, you did. but let me tell you why.
Everyone has that one food that they believe defined their childhood. One food that could make any day better, and be enjoyed in any and all circumstances. Mine just so happens to be surrounded by so much unnecessary stigma that I had to present the mere idea of it to you, my unassuming reader, through a transcendental flashback experience.
So Cheesy Ramen Noodles, yeah? You slap an American Kraft Single onto a steaming bowl of Beef Ramen and mix it together. What's the big whoop?
Well, it all started when a few years ago, The New York Times published what they called the "perfect instant ramen recipe", which included, get this, two slices of American cheese. This small article caused immediate backlash, witch hunts and visceral disgust across the internet. Instant noodle elitists flooded to Twitter with plenty of nasty commentary, spewing their violent hatred and even going so far as to proclaim the article was "culturally insensitive". Personally, my penchant for cheese-ramen has subjected me to years of unwarranted harassment from my peers. In a one-off mentioning of me writing this, my best friend threatened me with strangulation. Even my significant other, loyal for over 3 years, threatens divorce at the mere suggestion of American cheese in their sacred noodle bowl.
But we live in 2020. And as I'm writing this, we also live in a worldwide pandemic. Every day, fear and isolation drive us further and further from each other, and all the things that once brought joy. In a time where our only certainty is uncertainty, we must unite ourselves. Preferably with good, warm food.
Which is why I believe it is finally time to lay the cheese ramen debate to rest.
With the fact that it is actually really, really good.
In response to the NYT Twitter war, Koreans and Korean-Americans came forward citing cheesy ramen as a comfort food tradition dating as far back as the Korean War; and today, cheese-flavored instant noodles can be found on shelves in almost ever Asian supermarket. And despite whatever initial uncertainty or disgust you may have had- you can't argue with food tradition. Also, by unspoken food critic law, "You can't knock it till' you try it."
So next time you break open your rationed stash of beef instant noodles- do yourself a favor. Drain 1/4th of the water, add your flavor powder, add one (or two) Kraft American Singles, and mix until creamy. Your taste buds (and your wallet) will thank you.