Ever since Momofoku Ando discovered a way to make noodles indestructible, the world has had an unhealthy obsession with instant ramen. Eaten everywhere by everyone from office workers to vitamin deficient students, instant noodles’ formula of water, carbs and seasoning is a certified winner. It’s no wonder that we collectively munch our way through around 100 billion servings every single year.
In fact, instant ramen has become so popular, that some businesses have decided to incorporate it onto their menus by any means necessary, even if, at first glance, it doesn’t seem like a natural fit. There is perhaps no better example of this than McDonald’s. To the casual observer, cheeseburgers, chicken nuggets and questionable fish sandwiches might not sound like natural bedfellows for cheap noodles. Clearly, the people in the kitchen disagree.
This year, for the first time ever, the fast food franchise have decided to introduce a new flavour to their famous French fries in the form ambiguously named "Shake Shake Fries". Despite sounding as though they were inspired by a long forgotten Metro Station indie jingle, the fries are actually flavoured with noodle-style seasoning, creating what must be one of the most exciting fast food mash-ups of modern times.
Created in conjunction with Nissin - makers of both “Cup Noodles” and “Top Ramen” in American - the new sides come in two distinct varieties. For carnivores, McDonald’s have come up with “black garlic pork broth”, delivering a deep meaty flavour, while vegetarians can enjoy nutty, umami “sesame oil”. In both cases, sachets of seasoning are served separately to the fries themselves, allowing customers to add as much or as little as they like. If anyone wants to get especially creative, there is also the potential for sprinkling the sachets on something else.
As exciting as the new release undoubtedly is, international McDonald’s fans will have to wait a while before getting a taste. The new noodle flavourings are currently only available in Hong Kong, and there is currently no news regarding whether the business are currently planning a wider roll out. For everyone outside of Asia, we’ll have to cross our fingers and pray that noodle fries prove to be a hit.