Every now and then, something comes to me that I just don't expect. Today's review is one of those times. I remember seeing some sort of blog post or something about Skinny Noodles MANY months ago and while I thought it was interesting, I never went to the effort to seek them out. Recently, my sister made a purchase of a Skinny Noodles sampler pack off of Groupon and for reasons I will not share, some of that purchase made it to me. I never expected to review Skinny Noodles, but after my sister's passing them along to me, here we are today to review this package of Skinny Noodles Shirataki Spaghetti. The package itself is 8.0 ounces and as you can clearly see on the front, it is ZERO calories (although the website now says it is low calorie with 10 calories), ZERO fat, Kosher and Gluten Free. Basically, I'm not sure this is even food. Interesting.
What you can't tell from looking at this package is that the noodles exist in the packaging kind of in a state of suspended animation. They are in there, but they are sitting in fluid in the bag and it kind of rolls around like a roly poly. Very strange. What is also strange is the directions required to get them ready. I'll copy this verbatim from their website since I didn't type the directions directly from the packaging (they vary ever so slightly): "Rinse well to remove the natural, ocean-like scent. If desired, you can add 1-2 drops of vinegar to the rinse water. The unique scent comes from a combination of konnyaku (a root native to Asia) and the natural alkaline water used to keep Skinny Noodles and "Rice" fresh and shelf-stable. Drain well. Skinny Noodles are pre-cooked and ready to eat. But if you want to heat them, you may pan fry for 2-3 minutes, parboil for 2-3 minutes, or microwave for 1 minute." Alright then. I will say that what you see above is prior to me cooking them in the microwave for a couple minutes. What I will also say is that the "ocean-like scent" is like nothing I've ever smelled. The real reason these found their way to me is because the smell made my sister so ill that she couldn't ever stomach trying to eat a second package of these. I will say that the smell of these is pretty repulsive and it's something that I can can never unsmell, unfortunately. That said, I must have a stronger stomach than her because the smell, while horrifyingly disgusting (like shrimp gone bad or a dead fish laying on the shore), wasn't enough to turn me off from eating these. Once I rinsed them profusely (didn't use vinegar) and heated them up, they seemed like normal noodles, although they were slightly opaque.
In terms of flavor, there wasn't a lot here as I was basically eating plain noodles. I ended up adding all sorts of spices and some balsamic vinegar to bring the flavor up, but prior to that, they were just bland. Basically like Ramen noodles prior to adding the flavor packs. Where they did differ from Ramen noodles was that they were really gummy and almost chewy. That was bizarre for the first few bites, but I got over it after a while. Plain taste and odd texture...that's all there really is to say.
Buy It or Fly By It? I'm on the fence here. I certainly enjoyed the curiosity factor here and they did not taste that bad. The smell was the only horrifying part and it wasn't bad enough to outweigh the curiosity factor for me. Combining that with what is basically a blank canvas to make whatever you want with little-to-no caloric impact makes me put this in the BUY IT category. I don't know that I'll rush out to find these again, but they are certainly worth buying at least once just to give them a try if you see them online via their site or in another Groupon deal. If anything, you should do it just to say you did and wear it like a badge of honor (like skydiving!).