Sometimes there’s no time to make a pot of Top Ramen. At least I imagine that someone out there doesn’t have the time, which is why some executive somewhere — probably on their fifth day without sleep and enjoying the effects of a pixie stick snorted out of desperation — decided that what the world needs most now is not love, peace, or any of the other things that Coke is always trying to sell us, but Nissin’s signature flavor in portable potato form. Enter the newest monstrosity to waddle onto the snack food aisle: Pringles Chicken Top Ramen.
Let me answer your first question: Nissin is one hundred percent for this and actually partnered with Pringles to bring new and exciting life to the flavor you most recognize from college (although this is probably less salty as it will not be seasoned by the tears you shed while thinking about how broke you were and what a mistake it was to sign up for “Introduction to Ecology” because that’s actually a really hard class and not just about how to recycle).
Let me answer your second question: These are only available for a limited time and sold exclusively at Dollar General, which will either dissuade you from going or excite you about all the other exciting food possibilities and friendships to be formed there.
Now, let me answer your third and most important question: Yes, these things sound like they’re absolutely delicious which makes them dangerous as f*ck. Consider this: A package of top ramen contains 380 calories and 1820 milligrams of sodium (which is 38 percent of your suggested daily intake of salt, but who’s counting, besides the FDA and whichever House Republican is campaigning to make high sodium a preexisting condition?).
As we all know, one package of Top Ramen is never enough. In fact, if you are someone of particularly refined tastes, you recognize that the best way to eat top ramen is by enjoying a dry package with seasoning as part of your larger meal as you wait for several additional packages of Top Ramen to cook.
That’s bad for your heart health to begin with (source: doctors on internet, real life) but even worse when you take it to Pringles. Because most flavors of Pringles are about 150 calories per serving (15 chips). That’s not too bad, you say, but you are also ignoring the fact that each package of Pringles houses approximately 100 chips so that’s about 900 calories per can, give or take (because we ain’t out here counting Pringles). And if Pringles’ tagline, “once you pop you can’t stop” is to be taken as both a promise and a threat, we’ve got huge issues to deal with. I don’t know anyone who’s ever eaten 15 chips and stopped. Hell, I don’t know anyone who’s eaten an entire package and said “you know what? That’s enough Pringles for today! Time for a refreshing glass of water!” No, once you finish one package of Pringles, you get another. And another.
And when the flavor is limited time, you feel even more of a sense of obligation to shovel chip after chip into your mouth as fast as you can, before the angry gods who have giveth decide to taketh away. In short, if you were wondering how humans went from looking the way we do now to looking the way they do in Wall-E, we’re going to posit that Top Ramen Chicken Pringles are a good way of solving that particular mystery.
And we’re still going to eat them. Because we’re gluttons for novelty and innovation. And also just gluttons, and goddamn if these don’t sound like they could be the answer to all our problems, or at least another way to escape them while doing absolutely nothing to better our present situation.