The Noodle Revolution, 1980s-2007

Maggi Noodles. Synonymous with a lot of memories, mostly from times when one was too lazy to cook but too hungry not to eat? Those childhood times when Maggi was the THE snack of all times? How your mother scolds you that you serve Maggi for breakfast? Umm, no? Ok, maybe the last one is just me. Nevertheless, would be hard to find an Indian (or as Wiki tells me, a Singaporean, Malayasian, New Zealander or Aussie) who hasn’t had Maggi in their lives. If you’re below 60 years of age, that is. Somehow, old people and noodles just don’t get along. And that’s a brilliant idea for a next blog post. Oh, did I just say that aloud?
Why talk about Maggi now? Because I’m hugely hugely impressed by how innovative the blokes at Nestle are! They’ve just introduced Maggi Rice noodles!! After the regular noodles, the wheat flour (atta) noodles, now rice! Natural progression, one could say. And something that makes a lot of sense.

I’m a big fan of Maggi noodles. I still remember fighting for one extra strand of noodles with my brother (who, after punching me, would graciously offer me two, thereby making me look like the bad person in front of my mother, not to mention a complete glutton for noodles). How I used to cycle the 400m to the nearby shop to buy noodles and pester mom to make it for me before my brother comes. Ok, my brother is always a part of the noodle story ‘coz, seriously, I HAVE fought that many times. Yes, I make a lousy sister. And no, I’m not so now. Happy? Those were times when I had just learnt cycling, so no matter what the distance, it was always my trusted BSA SLR. Even if it was to my friend’s who lived, hold your breath, two doors away! I mean, two whole doors! Can you believe that?

Ok, umm, back to noodles. Back then, there was just veggie, chicken and tomato flavors, and we used to be such devoted fans of the veggie flavor. If my mother had the patience and the time, she would make it extra special by adding real veggies and it would look like the picture on top of the cover! Ah, those were good times. Then came a lot of flavors that didnt quite click (Chatpata, if I remember correctly), and I think there was one which was supposed to be like noodles in soup.

The marketing for Maggi has always been very sensible. Their ‘2 minute’ tag line was very appealing for mothers and kids alike – mothers needn’t spend precious time in the kitchen again and kids can make an entire project out of it! Let’s face it, for a lot of us, the first dish we ever made in the kitchen (and for some, the only dish we can make in the kitchen even now) is Maggi noodles. If you were exceptionally talented, you would’ve made an omlette already, but hey, for regular people like me, it was noodles. Ok, I’m sorry my mind is so tangential, this post is still about noodles, noodles and just noodles.

The popularity of Maggi stems from the fact that it made noodles easy and non-messy. Though it neither tastes nor looks like the authentic chinese noodles, it is very much an accepted type of ‘noodles’. So much so, I’ve seen restaurants serve ‘Maggi noodles’ next to the other regular Chinese/Conti dishes.

As to the catalyst of this post, Maggi Rice Noodles – available in 3 flavors: Shahi Pulao, Chilly Chow and Lemon. Take my advice, the last two suck big time – even more than Maggi Dal Atta noodles (which was banned from my kitchen after I couldn’t finish even half a plate of it, even when I hadn’t eaten all day). Shahi Pulao is just about palatable. Which made me realize that nothing compares to the original no-nonsense, no frills, regular good ol’ Maggi Vegetable Noodles.

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8 thoughts on “The Noodle Revolution, 1980s-2007

  1. Yaaah. I remember. But just ate it twice or thrice. Quickly switched to Top Ramen. It really tasted better to me. And I fell like a sucker to their cartoon ad. “Don’t be a noodle, Be a smoodle”. And they didn’t make that “2-minutes” false promise. Everybody knows it takes atleast 5 minutes to make noodles. 🙂

    Rice noodles? Hmmm.

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  2. Gimme Noodles in any form, i’ll consume it..

    BUT conditions Apply : it should be this authentic Maggi/Top Ramen noodles..No atta/sambar/dal/rice/shahi pulao/watevr cracked up flavors for me..

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  3. So much about Maggie…. Haven’t tried even once. Still have a few packets in the kitchen came as free for something we bought, a couple of months ago.

    I have always thought that it’s only meant for the school going kids.

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  4. Maggi noodles suck big time now. I remember having them as a kid and haven’t had them much since then. Now that I’m 24 and cooking my owns meals, I decided to try them again only to find that they are now “97% Fat Free” and “Baked Not Fried”. I’m from Australia myself so I’m not sure if it’s the same in other countries but basically all the flavour seems to be gone and it doesn’t have that same great taste that I remember them having. Since when were they meant to be healthy anyways? Ok, so maybe it’s a good thing that they no longer contain MSG and aren’t full of fat but the whole thing they had going for them was that they tasted the shiz, no matter what they did to our bodies.

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  5. hey thats a very interesting review on Maggi.. i remember when i was a kid i used to eat Maggi like anything.. not that I’ve changed my Maggi habit now, but its certainly been cut-down.. hey i was thinking.. maybe you should share your review on http://www.meandmeri.in, i saw some amazing stories there.

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  6. great amazing review on maggi… im quite surprised that even 25 yrs later maggi is ever so popular..something so simple yet so grand..i guess it’s coz they are always reinventing themselves..even the maggi fansite, http://www.meandmeri.in, is pretty interesting..it has some great maggi recipes.

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