The alpha and omega of special-edition flavors.

Japan has a long tradition of making certain foods taste like other foods, from sake-flavored KitKats to yogurt-flavored sake to yogurt-flavored-sake-flavored KitKats. It’s beginning to feel like it’s all been done before.

However, Nissin, the makers of UFO instant yakisoba, have shown time and time again that they refuse to be confined by the limitations of common sense. The culmination of this philosophy has been their latest creation: normal-UFO-flavored UFO.

Seems simple at first, but when you think about it, the fundamental dilemma becomes: How do you make a normal-UFO-flavored UFO that’s not just a normal UFO?

▼ A normal UFO

The answer is their latest creation White Rich Rich Rich Sauce UFO, which is just Rich Rich Rich Sauce UFO…but white! It even has the slogan of “Pointlessly white!”

▼ Left: White Rich Rich Rich Sauce UFO, Right: Rich Rich Rich Sauce UFO

The package has a colorless manga-theme to go with the food’s new off-white look and promises the exact same taste as normal UFO on the package.

In a press release, Nissin said that it took them over 100 attempts to get it just right. The sort of makes sense since us humans possess a sense of taste that’s easily swayed by our other senses. So radically changing the color of the food might create a bias in the eater’s mind and make an otherwise normal-tasting UFO taste differently. This means they would have to actually adjust the flavor to compensate for that mental bias and thus make it taste normal again.

Or they could just be joking. It’s really hard to tell with these people.

▼ A typical UFO commercial so you know what kind of company we’re dealing with here.

Anyway, we were able to get a preview bowl of White Rich Rich Rich UFO to see if it really does live up to the hype of tasting like nothing special. Our reporter P.K. Sanjun set about to prepare both a bowl of this latest creation and ordinary UFO for comparison.

The ingredients were the same and after adding and removing the boiling water, each bowl was identical.

But after adding the sauce they became drastically different. Actually the sauce on the White Rich Rich Rich UFO wasn’t so much white as it was invisible. It just looked like a bowl of dry noodles and spices.

First P.K. tasted of the normal UFO. Although he likes it, he doesn’t eat instant yakisoba too often, so it was important to get calibrated.

Next came the all new normal-UFO-flavored UFO.

“Haha! It’s really just normal UFO!”

When asked how it tasted, P.K. could only reply that it was exactly like regular UFO, no better and no worse. He wouldn’t even describe this as a “twin” of normal UFO because even twins have certain distinguishing characteristics. No, this was a straight up sci-fi clone of UFO in terms of taste.

And so, those wizards at Nissin have done it again. They have somehow harnessed the science of flavorlogy to overcome our innate bias when it comes to the color of food…or they didn’t really do anything at all. We’re not sure.

What we do know is the White Rich Rich Rich Sauce UFO will go on sale on 1 February. We can’t really think of a good reason to buy it, but I suppose the famous 20th century mountaineer George Mallory – when asked why he wanted to buy instant-yakisoba-flavored instant yakisoba – said it best: “Because it’s there.”

Photos ©SoraNews24
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