Contrary to what the headline of this post claims, what I am about to describe is not a treat, but rather a disturbing childhood memory and dirty private guilty pleasure. I, along with countless other children in Montreal, would consume raw packaged Asian noodles on purpose in the late 80’s and early 90s. In fact, you were somewhat of a popular kid if you showed up to snack time with a pack of raw noodles.
Simple called Nouilles (which is noodles in French), this strange snack even had a method of preparation that did not match the directions on the package. First, with the bag still closed, you would crack the big block of noodles into smaller ‘bite size’ pieces. Some pieces would remain big, other would crumble into tiny chunks. Once you were happy with the feel and the amount of pieces in the bag, you would proceed to open the bag, remove the flavor packet and sprinkle that salty concentrated goodness into the bag. In the 80’s there was only one flavor pack and it was powder. Nothing like today’s multiple flavor packs with oils and sauces.
Some people would empty the entire powder pack into the bag. I had a different technique; a little more refined if you will. I would put half in, hold the top of the bag closed and shake vigorously. I would then empty the other half of the flavor pack and shake again, a little less vigorously. This insured consistent flavor distribution. If you have never eaten raw noodles, the texture is surprisingly soft. It is like eating a very squiggly salty chip. It doesn’t take much chewing to turn the noodles into a paste in your mouth. I never claimed this was a classy snack.
There was Nouilles snack time etiquette, of course. Out of politeness you would offer your friends some. It was an unspoken rule that the really big pieces belonged to the owner of the bag. A friend that reached in and grabbed the biggest piece was considered rude, inconsiderate, and was not offered the next time around.
I remember my mom would take me to the supermarket and would let me pick my snacks for the week. It was the 80s, there was little consciousness on “healthy, low sodium, fresh” snacking so I picked what I wanted. There was only four flavors: chicken, beaf, pork, and vegetables. The veg was the weakest one, so I would usually double up on chicken and beef. I remember they were four for a dollar, which is really scary when you stop and reflect on that. I don’t remember when I started eating raw noodles, and even less when I stopped. I bought a bag the other day for the sole purpose of a visual aid to this post. I am ashamed to admit that I ate the entire bag, raw. Just look away!