This story delivers exactly what its title says. It manages to put a lot of deep meaning and feeling into a cup of instant noodles and it is among the best stories from Analog this year.

An alien called Tk’Kii-mi have aquired the last existing human food from Earth - a ramen cup. The alien belongs to a species that through digestion of food “save” stories from other beings. Tk’Kii-mi has invited The Last Human (not the last human alive, just the last human to have come from Earth) to share this cup of noodles with him - with the purpose of digesting the humans story.

Tk-Kii-mi has some expectations to the story. He is looking for something grand that capture Earths entire history. However, The Last Human is just a normal woman missing her home planet and can only share her personal memories from her normal life. But her feelings and associations related to tasting a simple cup of instant noodles again, might just be the perfect portal into what life on Earth was like.

In a short number of pages the story portrays two interesting characters with an insight into their motivations and learnings they each gain from sharing a simple meal. Highly recommended.

Read in Analog July/August 2023
Rating: 4+