Snack Critic: GGE Wheat Snacks Original Ramen Flavor is a Must for Lovers of Snacking on Dry Instant NoodlesOctober 6, 2017
- Patricia BaesWords
One of the biggest joys to be found in a bag of instant noodles is arguably not in the finished pancit dish—but in the dry, “raw” (i.e., unboiled, though technically pre-fried) noodles themselves, which can be crunched on as a standalone snack. This way of enjoying instant noodles as surprisingly delicious as it is admittedly unconventional, but followers looking for a more socially acceptable way to indulge in its goodness ought to know you’ll find other treats similar in concept but deliberately marketed and designed as snacks. Among them is GGE Wheat Crackers, a line of ramen-themed snacks hailing from Taiwan, of which we try the “Original Ramen” variant.
Unlike other packaged instant noodles or ramen (or other noodle-themed snacks, like its fellow noodle snack Nooda Crunch) where the noodles are packed tight into a squiggly bunch that you can break off into clusters, GGE gives you thin sticks of noodles already broken up and in uneven lengths. While some pieces more bent or curved than others, all are more or less on the straight end of the noodle spectrum, giving the snack an appearance akin to loose haystacks of skinny noodles similar to Indian sev.
You get a great dose of munchable goodness—light enough that you can go through a huge bunch of pieces in one go (and lighter than straight-up packaged instant noodles, likely due to the straight-noodle format and loose consistency), but still crisp and crunchy enough that it satisfies like any proper snack should. The taste is on the light side, not carrying any particularly explosive flavors, save for a degree more of toasty-ness on the noodles themselves and a general salty umami note with a slightly peppery, chicken broth-like character to it (which does bring to mind the general flavor profile of the instant stuff) on the seasoning. It comes at an intensity that’s just slightly stronger than what you’d find on straight-up instant noodles, but much milder compared to other kinds of junk food—which keeps it from being sickening or overwhelming. Plus, they’re versatile: have them plain and you’ll be surprised how fast you can go through a bag, or try using it to top your rice bowls, soups, and salads. Sure, crunching on regular instant noodles still has its charms—but GGE’s great balance of texture and flavor puts it in a league of its own.
Are you a raw-noodle cruncher? Have you tried this snack? Share your thoughts below.