Students opt for posh nosh

Alex Coke-Woods 26 January 2008

It was never going to win a Michelin star, and no-one could ever pretend it was haute cuisine, but once the humble pot noodle was beloved by students across the land.

But now it seems that the love-to-hate it pot snack is finally off the University menu, according to a new survey.

A poll conducted by supermarket chain Somerfield shows that students up and down the country are now splashing out more on food and clothes than every before, spending an average of £221 per month.

An overwhelming majority of students questioned by the supermarket said that they would never contemplate eating a pot noodle. More students (40%) said that they preferred to rustle up a Thai green curry in the kitchen than to eat the pre-prepared snack.

But for some students at Cambridge, culinary ambitions go further.

Andy, a 4th year engineer from Magdalene, described how he liked to make himself a mouth-watering meal in the finest French tradition.

“If I’m going to bother to cook something it has to make the effort worthwhile,” he said.

“For example, confit de canard – a minimum effort, delicious gourmet meal ready within half an hour.

“You can buy them already prepared in cans from delicatessens within Cambridge for just over £10 a jar,” he added.

“Ready meals from Sainsbury’s can be tasty enough, but I only buy them when I’m in a rush or feeling particularly lazy. I don’t buy Pot Noodles anymore as I have no idea what’s in them!” Andy concluded.

With just 11% of those questioned admitting that they liked to eat ready meals, students’ cookery skills are better than ever before. Food theme nights are becoming increasingly common, with Greek, Japanese and Italian among some of the favourites.

“I’ve bought my bamboo mat specially from Malta – so now Friday night is going to be sushi night!” said Louisa Bartolo, a 1st year SPS student from Downing College.

With news announced on Tuesday that the government is making cooking lessons compulsory for 11 to 14-year-olds by 2011, it could well be that the pot noodle has left the student kitchen forever.

Alex Coke-Woods