Sunburst Noodle Snack
49 cents per pack at No Frills
Country of origin: Unknown
What is it: When I was growing up, my mother led me to believe that eating uncooked noodles would give me worms. But these tiny snack packs appear to be just that — crunchy, dry, uncooked noodles — with the added bonus of palm oil, MSG, sodium carbonate, potassium carbonate and delicious malic acid. Oh yeah, and it “may contain fish, crustaceans, milk, peanuts, sesame and mustard.”
In what kind of crazy factory and country did these bad boys originate? Unfortunately an extensive Internet search led nowhere. Equally unhelpful was the snack food’s Burnaby-based distributor, Toyo, who didn’t return my email, although its website says it trademarked Sunburst way back in 1974. “This was our first trademark and over 30 years later [40 years, actually], it is still recognized by consumers as a symbol of value and quality,” boldly reads the website. “Sunburst products are geared towards Canadian tastes. They are produced under our exacting standards and offer the best value, without sacrificing quality, for the Canadian market.”
That said, Sunburst bears an uncanny resemblance to the far more popular Monster Noodle Snack from Malaysian-based company Mamee. However, the imprecision of Sunburst’s ingredients, which are “geared towards Canadian tastes,” also extends to the snack’s branding. While BBQ flavour is a no-brainer, what exactly constitutes “oriental flavour” is a bit of a mystery. Maybe it’s shorthand for “may contain soy sauce, among other things.”
Verdict: If eating the stale, salty crumbs from the bottom of a chow mein noodle package is your bag, then enjoy. But I’m going to continue to adhere to my mother’s warnings about uncooked noodles and worms.