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The Theoretical Cook

A FOODY IN THE THIRD WORLD

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Pancit Canton, or a Variant Thereof


Yes, it's what you think it is. Closer, closer - that pretty picture there is the Lucky Me Instant Pancit Canton Original Flavor that you can 'enjoy anywhere, anytime.' Yup, its the Instant Pancit Canton that you can serve, according to the blurb in the package, 'while camping', during 'beach outing', 'party time', 'for unexpected guests', and - they really know their market - during 'group study time.'
I am part of the generation that grew up on instant food - remember 'Instafood/meal', the instant meal that you simply have to drop into hot water to have your hot lunch? I was too young then to pay attention to the brand of that one-hit wonder meal. The surviving classic of this generation of instant food is the Lucky Me Pancit Canton Original Flavor. Monde Nissin has since then given the original flavor other equally Pinoy twists: (1) with calamansi; (2) with chili. However, since taste is something nurtured, I have to admit that my tastebuds have been conditioned to the taste of the classic instant pancit canton. It must be the many late-night dormitory sneak eats. A decade later, I still have late-night cravings for this Lucky Me pancit canton.
To explain why eating pancit canton is a grievous health sin, here are the Ingredients of the Luck Me Instant Pancit Canton.

Instant Pancit Canton

Ingredients:
Noodles: Wheat flour, palm oil, iodized salt, carbonates, stabilizer, phosphates, FD & C yellow #5 (tartrazine), FD & C yellow #6, antioxidant
SPECIAL SEASONING, SAUCE AND OIL: Soy sauce, coconut oil, maltodextrin, natural and artificial flavors, sugar, monosodium glutamate, iodized salt, hydrolized vegetable protein, spices, dehydrated vegetables (carrots and chives), flavor enhancers, caramel color, ascorbic acid, guar gum, iron, antioxidant, potassium sorbate.

To explain why we keep eating it anyway, heres the procedure.
Procedure:
1) Cook noodles in briskly boiling water for three minutes.
2) Meanwhile, mix special seasoning, soy sauce, and oil on a plate to form a paste. Set aside.
3) Drain noodles and place on the plate with the prepared sauce. Mix well. Enjoy!

So its very easy to prepare, its dirt cheap, and its available in your neighborhood sarisari store. Whoever concocted the recipe for this instant pancit canton really tapped into the collective taste of the Pinoy man-on-the-street. The Pancit Canton has spawned a host of spin-offs but none has endured in the market as the original classic. Or is it the original? How come the sign says Copyright 2003....Hmn.

So, if I may quote from the nifty package again, "Next time you are thinking of what food to serve, prepare a delicious and nutritious plate of LUCKY ME PANCIT CANTON...your hassle-free, energy packed fun snack."

And this is why I am a third world foody, bow.

16 Comments:

Blogger Kai said...

Oh yeah, all my friends still eat this. I tried to stop, due to the reason of the ingredients, but I crave the taste, and try to recreate it with cooking pancit canton from scratch. But try mixing the calamansi variant with the chili variant, it's awesome!

10:40 AM  
Blogger JMom said...

oh yumm! Wish I could have some, it sounds delicious. Instant ramen noodles are a staple in our house.

1:54 AM  
Blogger Theoretical Cook said...

HI Kai, will try mixing the chili and calamansi for that awesome taste....
Jmom, what does ramen really mean? When its not an instant thing? Of course, we also stock Nissins ramen etc:)

8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is there any way to replicate the paste...you know out of scratch?

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Sa said...

I used to love this pancit canton, though I have stopped eating them everyday for health reasons. However yesterday di ko gusto yung ulam so nagpabili ako ng pancit canton kaya lang after eating I noticed burp ako ng burp, and very acidic yung feeling sa tiyan ko, 18 hours after acidic pa rin.. kakatakot na atang subukan to ulit ah.. wala ba kayong nararamdaman? yung flavor nung akin sweet and spicy.

3:46 PM  
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