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The land that invented instant noodles is never one to rest on its instant laurels. Noodle makers in Japan have been constantly coming up with new flavors and dishes to keep their customers happy, and the company that started it all, Nissin, is proud to unveil its newest instant noodle product: pasta!

The folks at Nissin are so excited about their new product, they are giving it the ultimate taste test by taking it to Gragnano, Italy, an area famous for dried pasta. Are these instant noodles going to satisfy the palates of some real Italians? Join us after the jump to find out.

In a brave public relations stunt, Nissin took their new Cup Noodle “Pasta Style” to the pasta capital of the world, Italy. With their pasta character Mr. Pasta Judge – a 46-year-old thick noodle – and their newest flavors of instant pasta, Vongole and Bolognese, they asked 157 Italians, “Would you call our Cup Noodle Pasta Style ‘pasta’?”

Cup Noodle is well-known for their instant noodle line of products and these new concoctions are their first attempts at Italian-inspired pasta creations. This time, they are using a different kind of noodle that becomes fat and round when you add hot water, and their first two flavors are derived from classic Italian dishes, Vongole, with the umami taste of clams and olive oil, and Bolognese, which has a tomato base and a rich flavor of herbs.

▼ Question: Would you call our new “pasta style”, pasta?

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Can you really cook these two classic dishes in just three minutes with only hot water? All the people who were interviewed were good sports and were willing to try the random pasta in a cup handed to them by the strange mascot from Japan.

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What matters to Nissin are the results, though. How did their new pasta style fare? Is it pasta? Or not pasta?

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The respondents were decidedly one-sided, with 86 percent of them saying that it… wasn’t pasta.

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▼ Pasta-mind…blown

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It wasn’t a complete shutout though, as 14 percent of people said they were OK with calling it pasta! Unfortunately, that didn’t line up with the internal numbers Nissin had projected as their PR Director said that there were a lot of people in the “pasta group” within the company. Even though they couldn’t get the positive result of “pasta” they were looking for, Nissin still believes that people in Japan will find it really delicious!

▼ You’re a judge, too!

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These new Cup Noodles will go on sale in Japan on June 29, so you can take the taste test yourself. Whether it’s “pasta” or not, their little marketing scheme really makes us want to try them and decide for ourselves.

▼ It’s the “pasta” that Italians don’t acknowledge as pasta

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Source: Cup Noodle Pasta Style via Nari Nari
Images: Cup Noodle Pasta Style, YouTube/Nissin Group