If your 5-alarm chili can spark a 3-alarm fire, you'll love the combustible noodles rumored to be smoldering away on Chinese store shelves.
Even better (or worse), the noxious noodles have been known to spontaneously combust after cooking – in other words, while wet! As noodles are to Chinese what meat & potatoes are to westerners, rumors of flaming vermicelli have been spreading like... wildfire.
Concern and speculation over the possibility of flaming noodles has now made the jump from casual conversation to China's mainstream media. In the February 25th edition of the Beijing News, an entire page was reserved for a discussion of the issue, including listing possible reasons why noodles could burst into flame.
According to BN, “A noodle dealer is quoted as saying that there is nothing unusual about burning noodles as the wheat flour that makes them is inflammable.” We can see that, sort of: most any organic matter will burn under the right conditions. But then it gets weird... “A manager of a noodle producer says that sometimes alcohol is used to keep noodles fresh, which may contribute to their flammability, but he insists that alcohol as a food additive is both legal and safe.” Say what??
One has to wonder just how much alcohol is in these noodles and more importantly, is it the “good” alcohol that gives you a buzz or the “bad” stuff that makes you go blind. I'd write more, but oddly enough I'm having trouble seeing my keyboard. Waiter, there's a fire in my soup! (via Danwei and Global Times)