”Longer than usual” is a ridiculous understatement.

Instant noodle maker Nissin’s flagship product is its Cup Noodle instant ramen, and so the company’s Donbei series of instant soba and udon usually has to do something special to get people’s attention, like team up with Uniqlo or make a case that a bowl of noodles is the perfect romantic partner for Christmas Eve.

So at first glance, it might seem uncharacteristically low-key for Donbei to be telling us to be on the lookout for its new tempura soba noodles, given that tempura soba is one of the most pedestrian noodle varieties in Japan. But then we take a closer look at the package, and see that it promises that these noodles are “longer than usual.” So just how long are they?

A full meter (3.3 feet).

The extra-long noodles have an appropriately extra-long name: Donbei Tempura Soba-Longer-Than-Usual Soba to Wish You Longevity (or Donbei Tempura Soba Istumo Yori Nagai Choju Kigan Soba in Japanese).

Soba is considered an auspicious food to eat at New Year’s, with the length of the noodles seen as a symbol of long life. Nissin wants to carry those warm wishes into the new Donbei noodles, which measure one meter in length prior to cooking, making them several times longer than normal soba noodles. You also get a katsuo dashi (bonito stock) broth, mixed tempura, green onion, and a side of shichimi red pepper flakes if you want some extra spice.

Making the whole thing extra crazy is that Japanese table manners dictate that you’re supposed to slurp your noodles. Cutting or twirling them around your chopsticks is poor form, and some people also think that biting through a mouthful and letting the uneaten part of the noodles drop back into your bowl is also an impolite move. Basically, once the noodles touch your lips, you need to be committed to slurping them all up, so you’ll want to be careful about how many strands of the extra-long Donbei you grasp with your chopsticks when going in for a bite.

Donbei Tempura Soba-Longer-Than-Usual Soba to Wish You Longevity goes on sale February 8, priced at 193 yen (US$1.85).

Source: Nissin via IT Media
Images: Nissin
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