Babystar Ramen Crunchy Noodle Snack (Chicken Flavor)

Brand: Lawson Select

Cost: 100 yen

Found At: Lawson

Donated By: Nick Hogios

I still vividly remember the first time I saw someone eating uncooked ramen. It’s one of those defining moments in your life when you realize that the world is not black and white – that there is not a fixed set of rules that govern your interactions with your environment. The sight of a fifth-grader chowing down on a raw brick of noodles, stopping only to sprinkle on more “oriental” flavoring, fundamentally informed my understanding of the limits imposed on us by culture. Before that, dry ramen noodles had existed for me in the category of pre-foods, like flour or pasta or oats or rice, that required cooking to be edible. And because of this categorization, the idea of eating them raw was an absurdity. In fact, it was beyond an absurdity – it was an unthinkable thought. The mental leap was just too great.

I guess what I am saying is that ramen noodles made me #woke.

And now, 15 years later, raw ramen has returned to once again to challenge the arbitrary categories of food. This time, Lawson and Babystar ramen have teamed up to turn ramen into a finger food. These round little hockey pucks made of tiny noodles offer all the convenience of a chip, with all the MSG of a cup of ramen. They are salty, savory, crunchy little nuggets of carby delight that call back to a simpler time when you didn’t worry about eating a brick of starch. As for me, I can eat about three of them before I need to lie down.

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